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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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Making plastic smarter with protein

How do you improve on plastic, a modern material that has already changed the way we do everything from design medical devices to build cars? Embed it with specialized proteins called enzymes, says Shekhar Garde, assistant professor of chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. "Such protein-enhanced plastics might someday be able to act as ultra-hygienic surfaces or sensors to detect the presence of various chemicals," says Garde. These types of materials could have a wide 24.03.2003 | nachricht Read more

Mayonnaise as Model for Solid Plastics

Intriguing Structural Strategy Aims at Making Designer Plastics Affordable The future was supposed to be "plastics," according to advice given in a 1960s movie The Graduate. Many a company thought that future meant the gradual ascendancy of "designer" or specialty plastics, but almost 40 years later the market is still dominated by plastics that can be manufactured cheaply in bulk. Six researchers from the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) and one at Helsinki U 24.03.2003 | nachricht Read more

Concrete less sensitive for cracks than previously thought

Reinforced high-strength concrete can crack due to stresses that develop during the hardening process. However, this has been found to be surprisingly less quick than previously thought. Due to Dutch research, extra steps during the hardening process can be omitted. This will result in cheaper concrete. Maya Sule from Delft University of Technology tested specimens of high strength concrete (concrete with little water) in a temperature stress testing machine (TSTM). Such tests indicate the 21.03.2003 | nachricht Read more

New Measurements Show Silicon Nanospheres Rank Among Hardest Known Materials

University of Minnesota researchers have made the first-ever hardness measurements on individual silicon nanospheres and shown that the nanospheres’ hardness falls between the conventional hardness of sapphire and diamond, which are among the hardest known materials. Being able to measure such nanoparticle properties may eventually help scientists design low-cost superhard materials from these nanoscale building blocks. Up to four times harder than typical silicon-a principal ingredient o 21.03.2003 | nachricht Read more

For markets of the future, success depends on advanced materials

Technical Insights’ materials and chemicals research service: Advanced materials technology Advanced materials look set to revolutionize numerous applications in the 21st century. Scientists and engineers are undertaking extensive research activities in their quest to develop sophisticated new materials that are more durable, environmentally friendly, and energy efficient. "Advanced materials and chemicals are the enabling building blocks for future devices and systems, 19.03.2003 | nachricht Read more

New generation of advanced membranes

The development of a new generation of membranes based on conducting polymers has been the subject of a recent line of research in the Department of New Materials at CIDETEC, in association with the LEIA Technological Centre. This involves a field of work wherein the excellent advantages presented by electro-dialysis conventional membranes (continuous separation, low energy consumption, ease of combination with other separation processes, absence of additives) are combined with other, highl 18.03.2003 | nachricht Read more

Engineers Take New Look at StrengthofIndustrial Glass Fiber

An Ohio State University engineer and his colleagues have discovered something new about a 50-year-old type of fiberglass: it may be more than one and a half times stronger than previously thought. That conclusion, and the techniques engineers used to reach it, could help expand applications for glass fibers. Though the glass fiber industry is currently suffering the same economic woes as many other businesses, the time is right to lay the groundwork for future applications, said P 26.02.2003 | nachricht Read more

Electronic Circuit Rides a Chemical Film

Chains of molecules known as conducting polymers are versatile materials that can work like electronic circuits. Potential uses include flat panel displays, solar panels, sensing devices and transistors, to name just a few. Their invention won three scientists the Nobel Prize in chemistry. But to make useful devices from conducting polymers requires a degree of chemical wizardry that often proves elusive. University of Illinois at Chicago chemistry professor Luke Hanley has found a new and 20.02.2003 | nachricht Read more

UC Riverside scientists synthesize new porous materials

New materials will have applications in electronic and optoelectronic devices, electrocatalysis, electroanalysis and sensors Scientists at the University of California, Riverside have synthesized a large family of semiconducting porous materials that have an unprecedented and diverse chemical composition. The new materials show several different properties such as photoluminescence, ion exchange, and gas sorption. They also have a large surface area and uniform pore sizes. I 10.02.2003 | nachricht Read more

Jefferson Lab’s Free-Electron Laser explores promise of carbon nanotubes

Jefferson Lab’s Free-Electron Laser used to explore the fundamental science of how and why nanotubes form, paying close attention to the atomic and molecular details Scientists and technologists of all stripes are working intensively to explore the possibilities of an extremely strong and versatile cylinder so tiny that millions -- which in bunches look like an ebony snowflake -- could fit easily on the tip of a pin. The objects in question are known as carbon nanotubes, first discov 28.01.2003 | 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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