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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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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

Singing Concrete

Physicists from the St. Petersburg State Institute of Technology have invented an unusual method for improving concrete. The researchers believe that the concrete structure will become more uniform, and concrete products will obtain unprecedented durability and water-resistance if, while hardening, concrete is exposed to the influence of electromagnetic field of a strictly determined frequency. The actual process is as follows: the concrete blocks while they are still in the mould ar 17.01.2003 | nachricht Read more

Computer program reveals optimum microstructure for new materials

Technique could help bring efficiency of biology to man-made materials A Princeton chemist has developed a general mathematical system for designing materials that perform two functions at once, even when the desired properties sometimes conflict with each other. Salvatore Torquato and colleagues used computers to calculate the optimum structure for any material that is a composite of two substances with differing properties. The achievement is the first simple example of a 07.01.2003 | nachricht Read more

The possibility of reducing monomer residues in polymers

POLYMAT, the University of the Basque Country’s Institute of Polymer Materials, is helping to solve the problem of contamination of polymers obtained through polymerisation processes involving emulsions. With European funding obtained four years ago, the project on removing monomer residues from polymers was undertaken. POLYMAT has been working in this field with the collaboration of three other universities (from Germany, Greece and Switzerland) as well as three foreign companies. Unfortun 19.12.2002 | nachricht Read more

Scientists cook up superfoam that fights back

Researchers at the University of Sheffield have transformed ordinary polyurethane packaging foam into a superfoam that not only refuses to be crushed but also actually increases in thickness when stretched. Under the same stresses conventional foam loses its resilience and its protective qualities, so the superfoam’s benefits for the packaging industry are obvious. The secret lies in a new “cooking” technique and in the cooking oil, which has to be organic; olive oil, for example, will do ni 18.12.2002 | nachricht Read more

Latex means environmentally friendly packaging

For several years, Caisa Andersson has been trying to create a better barrier against moisture and oxygen in our food packaging. On December 20, she will submit her doctoral dissertation at Karlstad University in Sweden. Latex has long been used for various types of surface treatment of paper. In recent years, interest has been focused on the polymer’s characteristic of forming a protective coating on the surface of paper. “Surface treatment is used to create a barrier against mois 17.12.2002 | nachricht Read more

Nanoparticles could aid biohazard detection, computer industry

Nanotechnology could make life easier for computer manufacturers and tougher for terrorists, reports a Purdue University research team. A group led by Jillian Buriak has found a rapid and cost-effective method of forming tiny particles of high-purity metals on the surface of advanced semiconductor materials such as gallium arsenide. While the economic benefits alone of such a discovery would be good news to chip manufacturers, who face the problem of connecting increasingly tiny com 12.12.2002 | nachricht Read more

Komfortable Kinderschuhe dank Fußdummy und Messsocke

nnovationen aus der industriellen Gemeinschaftsforschung Pro Jahr gehen in Deutschland etwa 22 Mio. Paar Kinderschuhe über die Ladentheke. Rund 30 Prozent davon stellen deutsche Firmen her. Neben seinem modischen Aussehen und seiner richtigen Passform ist die Fähigkeit zur Wärme- und Feuchtigkeitsregulation maßgeblich für den Komfort eines Schuhs. Die Füße sollen warm und trocken bleiben und vor äußeren Einwirkungen geschützt werden. Der Abtransport des Fußschweißes durch Socke und S 10.12.2002 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron cryo-microscopy: Using inexpensive technology to produce high-resolution images

Biochemists at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have used a standard electron cryo-microscope to achieve surprisingly good images that are on par with those taken by far more sophisticated equipment. They have succeeded in determining the structure of ferritin almost at the atomic level. Their results were published in the journal "PLOS ONE".

Electron cryo-microscopy has become increasingly important in recent years, especially in shedding light on protein structures. The developers of the new...

Im Focus: The spin state story: Observation of the quantum spin liquid state in novel material

New insight into the spin behavior in an exotic state of matter puts us closer to next-generation spintronic devices

Aside from the deep understanding of the natural world that quantum physics theory offers, scientists worldwide are working tirelessly to bring forth a...

Im Focus: Excitation of robust materials

Kiel physics team observed extremely fast electronic changes in real time in a special material class

In physics, they are currently the subject of intensive research; in electronics, they could enable completely new functions. So-called topological materials...

Im Focus: Electrons in the fast lane

Solar cells based on perovskite compounds could soon make electricity generation from sunlight even more efficient and cheaper. The laboratory efficiency of these perovskite solar cells already exceeds that of the well-known silicon solar cells. An international team led by Stefan Weber from the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz has found microscopic structures in perovskite crystals that can guide the charge transport in the solar cell. Clever alignment of these "electron highways" could make perovskite solar cells even more powerful.

Solar cells convert sunlight into electricity. During this process, the electrons of the material inside the cell absorb the energy of the light....

Im Focus: The lightest electromagnetic shielding material in the world

Empa researchers have succeeded in applying aerogels to microelectronics: Aerogels based on cellulose nanofibers can effectively shield electromagnetic radiation over a wide frequency range – and they are unrivalled in terms of weight.

Electric motors and electronic devices generate electromagnetic fields that sometimes have to be shielded in order not to affect neighboring electronic...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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