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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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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

Ceramic coatings for high-tech applications: Bayreuth engineering scientists optimize new spraying method

For a long time, the production of ceramic coatings has only been possible by means of sintering techniques conducted at more than 1,000 degrees Celsius. However, a novel spraying method, Powder Aerosol Deposition (PAD), enables their production at normal room temperatures. It is therefore highly attractive for industrial applications. Engineering scientists from the University of Bayreuth under the direction of Prof. Dr.-Ing. Ralf Moos are working in the frontline of ongoing development of this technology. In the journal of "Advanced Materials", they present its advantages and show how the functional properties of ceramic films can be optimized with regard to high-tech applications.

With PAD, dense ceramic films can be applied to very different types of materials, such as steel, glass, silicon, or even plastic. To achieve this, a dry...

20.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Goals, opportunities, guides for advancing soft tissue and soft materials research

UMass Amherst scientists and team offer perspectives on cavitation science

A type of damage in soft materials and tissue called cavitation is one of the least-studied phenomena in physics, materials science and biology, say expert...

16.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

KIST develops nanometer-thick electromagentic shielding film using MXene

Uniform nanometer-thick MXene films can be used as electromagnetic shields in flexible electronics and 5G telecommunication devices

A Korean research team has developed a technology to fabricate an ultrathin material for electromagnetic interference(EMI) shielding. The research team, led by...

15.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

New handle for controlling electromagnetic properties could enable spintronic computing

The magnetic transition of troilite causes instabilities in the 'space metal's' structure that transforms it from a conductor to an insulator

Materials scientists at Duke University have shown the first clear example that a material's transition into a magnet can control instabilities in its...

14.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Characterizing and designing lubricants on the computer

Lubricated shafts, bearings and gears only run 'like clockwork' when the components slide on a perfect lubricating film, generating as little friction, wear and energy loss as possible. To achieve this, engineers need to know the behavior of the lubricant film in the so-called tribo-contact, which is difficult to measure experimentally. In order to ascertain such behavior, the Fraunhofer IWM, MicroTribology Center μTC makes lubricant properties calculable using atomistic methods and has recently published exciting findings on one of the central parameters, the pressure dependence of lubricant viscosity, in the scientific journal Physical Review Letters.

In order to develop a new lubricant or to improve upon an existing one, it is important to precisely understand its behavior: pressure, temperature, shear rate...

14.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Broad spectrum: Novel hybrid material proves an efficient photodetector

Digital cameras as well as many other electronic devices need light-sensitive sensors. In order to cater for the increasing demand for optoelectronic components of this kind, industry is searching for new semiconductor materials. They are not only supposed to cover a broad range of wavelengths but should also be inexpensive.

A hybrid material, developed in Dresden, fulfils both these requirements. Himani Arora, a physics PhD student at Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR),...

09.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

KIST develops foldable and washable luminescent film

Near-infrared sensors and displays developed based on the maximized efficiency of optical wavelength conversion. A flexible, transparent, and washable film, applicable to foldable and wearable devices.

Infrared radiation, which is invisible yet highly utilizable, is used in various fields and for various purposes, such as for coronavirus detection (i.e....

09.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

House cleaning on the nanoscale

A team of scientists at Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) has developed a novel mechanical cleaning method for surfaces on the nanoscale. The technique successfully removes even the tiniest contaminants down to the atomic scale, achieving an unprecedented level of cleanliness. The results of this study led by Prof. Dr. Erdmann Spiecker from the Department of Materials Science at FAU have now been published in the prestigious journal Nature Communications.

World’s smallest broom

08.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

X-rays reveal in situ crystal growth of lead-free perovskite solar panel materials

Lead-based perovskites are very promising materials for the production of solar panels. They efficiently turn light into electricity but they also present some major drawbacks: the most efficient materials are not very stable, while lead is a toxic element. University of Groningen scientists are studying alternatives to lead-based perovskites.

Two factors that significantly affect the efficiency of these solar cells are the ability to form thin films and the structure of the materials in the solar...

08.04.2020 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New measurement exacerbates old problem

Two prominent X-ray emission lines of highly charged iron have puzzled astrophysicists for decades: their measured and calculated brightness ratios always disagree. This hinders good determinations of plasma temperatures and densities. New, careful high-precision measurements, together with top-level calculations now exclude all hitherto proposed explanations for this discrepancy, and thus deepen the problem.

Hot astrophysical plasmas fill the intergalactic space, and brightly shine in stellar coronae, active galactic nuclei, and supernova remnants. They contain...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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