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Materials sciences - an interdisciplinary research field

Materials sciences involves the research, development, characterization, manufacture and processing of materials.

Materials sciences- the basis

As an interdisciplinary field, materials sciences encompasseschemistry, physics, mineralogyand many other areas of science. As a result, it is also tied closely to copper, iron and steel.

The transition from natural materials such as stone, wood, ivory or leather to the targeted production of materials such as copper, steel or iron

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Copper, steel and iron were produced as early as the Neolithic, roughly around 4,300 B.C. Copper and iron were produced as far back as the New Stone Age, roughly 4,300 B.C. This was then followed by the transition to the Bronze Age. It wasn't until the Iron Age that apart from iron, steel and copper, aluminum was also produced using the Hall-Héroult process. For a long time, materials sciences was interested almost exclusively in metals such as iron, copper and steel. However, this has changed with the rediscovery of concrete. While the first, mass-produced plastic materials eventually attracted the interest of the broad public, materials sciences continues to carry out research into iron, copper and steel.

The first metals and the ancient times

Copper, steel and iron were the first metals that mankind became familiar with as it evolved. Copper is very easy to process. As a result, copper was already being used 10,000 years ago by the oldest known cultures 10,000. The era of large-scale copper use (between 3,000 and 5,000 B.C.) is referred to as the Copper Age. The devotees of alchemy associate copper with Venus, the symbol of femininity. The first mirrors were even made from copper. The Roman Empire was the largest producer of copper prior to the Industrial Age. Copper remains an extremely popular material.

Steel - stable and dependable

Mankind has acquired long years of practical experience with steel. Steel is a preferred material in engineering because of its durability, excellent corrosion properties and suitability for welding. It is significantly more stable than copper. The European steel registry lists more than 2,300 types of steel. Coal and steel served as the pillars of heavy industry over a long period of time and were thus the foundations of political power. Steel is defined as an iron-carbon alloy with less than 2.06 percent carbon content. Steel, or iron, has a density of 7.85-7.87 g/cm3. Steel melts at a temperature that can be as high as 1,536°C and therefore withstands much higher temperatures than copper.Steel was first produced around 1,000 B.C., much later than copper. In an ecological sense, steel is a sustainable material because it can be continuously reused with minimal quality loss .

Iron - from decoration to general utility

The use of iron was first recorded around 4,000 B.C. in Egypt. It was a solid iron used for decorations and for making spear tips. It was more suitable for these purposes than steel or copper. Smelted iron appeared later in Mesopotamia and Egypt, but it was only intended for ceremonial purposes. Perhaps iron came about as a byproduct of bronze production. After the Hethiter developed a method to produce iron, cultures became increasingly reliant on iron between 1,600 and 1,200 B.C. Iron is thought to be a major element of the earth's core, along with nickel. Iron is produced by reducing iron ore through a chemical reaction with carbon. In contrast to steel or copper, iron is produced in blast furnaces.

Materials Sciences

Materials management deals with the research, development, manufacturing and processing of raw and industrial materials. Key aspects here are biological and medical issues, which play an increasingly important role in this field.

innovations-report offers in-depth articles related to the development and application of materials and the structure and properties of new materials.

Latest News:

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Red light for stress

Researchers at the Institute of Industrial Science, part of The University of Tokyo, and Yokohama City University have introduced novel color-changing organic crystals that spontaneously return to their original shape and hue after being stressed, a property they call superelastochromism. These materials can be used to make sensors for shear forces to monitor locations susceptible to damage.

The ability to visualize forces can be very useful in many industries, particularly heavy manufacturing and shipping. For example, a color-changing material...

04.05.2020 | nachricht Read more

Superatoms as catalysts

Prof. Roland Fischer awarded Reinhard Koselleck Project funding from the DFG

Precious metals like platinum are good catalysts – but they are expensive. While the chemical industry is trying to solve this cost issue by developing...

01.05.2020 | nachricht Read more

Scientists proposed a new approach for efficient nanomaterials' modeling

Researchers proposed a new approach to improve the efficiency of mathematical modeling of the processes in materials at the nanoscale.

Researchers from Higher School of Theoretical Mechanics of Peter the Great St.Petersburg Polytechnic University (SPbPU) and Tel Aviv University proposed a new...

30.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

A great new way to paint 3D-printed objects

Efficient painting method reaches nooks and crannies

Rutgers engineers have created a highly effective way to paint complex 3D-printed objects, such as lightweight frames for aircraft and biomedical stents, that...

29.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Proven a thousand times over: successful recovery of valuable materials from electronic devices

The EU project ADIR set out to develop a completely new, automated method of recycling electronic devices by disassembling them and recovering the valuable raw materials they contain. Under the title of “Next generation urban mining – Automated disassembly, separation and recovery of valuable materials from electronic equipment”, the ADIR project team has spent the last four years developing a sustainable recycling concept.

Led by the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, based in Aachen, Germany, and involving eight project partners from three countries, the ADIR...

29.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Scientists outsmart nature by building super liquid-repellent dry adhesives

A specific fibril tip shape design is the key to achieving elastic dry fibril adhesives with super liquid repellency. This new bioinspired material opens up many possibilities for use, as it prevents any form of liquid droplet or layer from hindering or degrading its adhesion.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart have developed a bioinspired reversible dry adhesive material that is able...

29.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Coupled magnetic materials show interesting properties for quantum applications

Like fans that blow in sync, certain magnetic materials can exhibit interesting energetic properties.

In order to find new ways to transmit and process information, scientists have begun to explore the behavior of electronic and magnetic spins, specifically...

28.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Adsorbent material developed with PET bottles for the removal of antibiotics from water

High-purity organic ligand was extracted from PET waste bottles and used to develop a high-efficiency adsorbent. The material maintained its adsorption properties even after repeated use, indicating wide applicability for water treatment.

South Korea with its high antibiotic use is categorized as a country at high risk of the emergence of *multi drug-resistant bacteria, or so-called "super...

24.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Researchers use electrostatic charge to assemble particles into materials mimicking gemstones, salt

Process offers a simple and scalable approach to particle self-assembly

Using just electrostatic charge, common microparticles can spontaneously organize themselves into highly ordered crystalline materials--the equivalent of table...

23.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Additive ideas in demand: the AMable project promotes flexible AM solutions to fight the coronavirus

The coronavirus is currently paralyzing public and private life and in many places there is a lack of medical equipment and viable solutions to protect society against the spread of the virus. Together with institutions from all over Europe, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is supporting companies in the EU project AMable in implementing Additive Manufacturing ideas that will help overcome bottlenecks in this fight. Now that AMable has already successfully paved the way for SMEs to industrial 3D printing with metal and plastic, the partners are offering aid and public funding for COVID-19 projects.

The AMable partners are calling for ideas to be submitted in a first step and applicable solutions for the additive manufacture of new products in a second...

22.04.2020 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Biotechnology: Triggered by light, a novel way to switch on an enzyme

In living cells, enzymes drive biochemical metabolic processes enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very ability which allows them to be used as catalysts in biotechnology, for example to create chemical products such as pharmaceutics. Researchers now identified an enzyme that, when illuminated with blue light, becomes catalytically active and initiates a reaction that was previously unknown in enzymatics. The study was published in "Nature Communications".

Enzymes: they are the central drivers for biochemical metabolic processes in every living cell, enabling reactions to take place efficiently. It is this very...

Im Focus: New double-contrast technique picks up small tumors on MRI

Early detection of tumors is extremely important in treating cancer. A new technique developed by researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from normal tissue. The work is published May 25 in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

researchers at the University of California, Davis offers a significant advance in using magnetic resonance imaging to pick out even very small tumors from...

Im Focus: I-call - When microimplants communicate with each other / Innovation driver digitization - "Smart Health“

Microelectronics as a key technology enables numerous innovations in the field of intelligent medical technology. The Fraunhofer Institute for Biomedical Engineering IBMT coordinates the BMBF cooperative project "I-call" realizing the first electronic system for ultrasound-based, safe and interference-resistant data transmission between implants in the human body.

When microelectronic systems are used for medical applications, they have to meet high requirements in terms of biocompatibility, reliability, energy...

Im Focus: When predictions of theoretical chemists become reality

Thomas Heine, Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at TU Dresden, together with his team, first predicted a topological 2D polymer in 2019. Only one year later, an international team led by Italian researchers was able to synthesize these materials and experimentally prove their topological properties. For the renowned journal Nature Materials, this was the occasion to invite Thomas Heine to a News and Views article, which was published this week. Under the title "Making 2D Topological Polymers a reality" Prof. Heine describes how his theory became a reality.

Ultrathin materials are extremely interesting as building blocks for next generation nano electronic devices, as it is much easier to make circuits and other...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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