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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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In-depth insights into glass corrosion

Silicate glass has many applications, including the use as a nuclear waste form to immobilize radioactive elements from spent fuel. However, it has one disadvantage - it corrodes when it comes into contact with aqueous solutions. Scientists at the University of Bonn were able to observe in detail which processes take place. The results have now been published in the journal Nature Materials.

The mineralogists and geochemists at the University of Bonn used the so-called confocal Raman spectroscopy for their study, where a laser beam is focused on a...

28.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Electrically-heated silicate glass appears to defy Joule's first law

Experiments show electric field can modify silicate glass, causing parts to melt while remaining solid elsewhere; discovery suggests heat in glass could be produced on a very fine scale, could point to performance challenges for devices that use glass

Characterizing and predicting how electrically-heated silicate glass behaves is important because it is used in a variety of devices that drive technical...

27.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

'Immunizing' quantum bits so that they can grow up

New material enhances supercurrent in topological-insulator nanoribbon Josephson junctions

Quantum computers will process significantly more information at once compared to today's computers. But the building blocks that contain this information -...

27.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Avoiding the crack of doom

New imaging technique reveals how mechanical damage begins at the molecular scale

Just as a journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step, the deformations and fractures that cause catastrophic failure in materials begin with a few...

26.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Understanding high efficiency of deep ultraviolet LEDs

Steps that form during LED fabrication improve their efficiency by creating tiny paths of electric current

Deep ultraviolet light-emitting diodes (DUV-LEDs) made from aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN) efficiently transfer electrical energy to optical energy due to...

22.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Engineered metasurfaces reflect waves in unusual directions

New metasurfaces can reflect light or sound waves into any desired direction -- or even split energy into more than one

In our daily lives, we can find many examples of manipulation of reflected waves such as mirrors to see our reflections or reflective surfaces for sound that...

18.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Large-scale window material developed for PM2.5 capture and light tuning

Tuning the light intensity and reducing the concentration of atmospheric particulate matter (PM) in commercial buildings are both crucial to keep indoor people comfortable and healthy.

While, the intelligent smart windows fabricated on the flexible transparent electrodes can change its transmittance in response to electrical or thermal...

18.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

New approach improving stability and optical properties of perovskite films

Enabling perovskite LEDs longer lifetime

Metal halide perovskites are regarded as next generation materials for light emitting devices (LEDs). A recent joint-research co-led by the scientist from City...

14.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

Calculating correlated materials from first principles

New Leibniz Junior Research Group headed by Oleg Janson at Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research Dresdan (IFW Dresden)

Modern functional materials such as superconductors or magnets are underlain by interacting electrons. A detailed description of electronic correlations is...

14.02.2019 | nachricht Read more

New additive provides fire protection for wood

Together with BRUAG Fire Protection AG, Empa specialists have developed a new flame retardant for wood and wood-based materials. The colourless additive, which can be easily mixed with coatings and cellulose materials, opens up new applications for wood processing companies.

Fire protection requirements are increasing worldwide - especially in public buildings and vehicle construction.

14.02.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Full speed ahead for SmartEEs at Automotive Interiors Expo 2019

Flexible, organic and printed electronics conquer everyday life. The forecasts for growth promise increasing markets and opportunities for the industry. In Europe, top institutions and companies are engaged in research and further development of these technologies for tomorrow's markets and applications. However, access by SMEs is difficult. The European project SmartEEs - Smart Emerging Electronics Servicing works on the establishment of a European innovation network, which supports both the access to competences as well as the support of the enterprises with the assumption of innovations and the progress up to the commercialization.

It surrounds us and almost unconsciously accompanies us through everyday life - printed electronics. It starts with smart labels or RFID tags in clothing, we...

Im Focus: Energy-saving new LED phosphor

The human eye is particularly sensitive to green, but less sensitive to blue and red. Chemists led by Hubert Huppertz at the University of Innsbruck have now developed a new red phosphor whose light is well perceived by the eye. This increases the light yield of white LEDs by around one sixth, which can significantly improve the energy efficiency of lighting systems.

Light emitting diodes or LEDs are only able to produce light of a certain colour. However, white light can be created using different colour mixing processes.

Im Focus: Quantum gas turns supersolid

Researchers led by Francesca Ferlaino from the University of Innsbruck and the Austrian Academy of Sciences report in Physical Review X on the observation of supersolid behavior in dipolar quantum gases of erbium and dysprosium. In the dysprosium gas these properties are unprecedentedly long-lived. This sets the stage for future investigations into the nature of this exotic phase of matter.

Supersolidity is a paradoxical state where the matter is both crystallized and superfluid. Predicted 50 years ago, such a counter-intuitive phase, featuring...

Im Focus: Explosion on Jupiter-sized star 10 times more powerful than ever seen on our sun

A stellar flare 10 times more powerful than anything seen on our sun has burst from an ultracool star almost the same size as Jupiter

  • Coolest and smallest star to produce a superflare found
  • Star is a tenth of the radius of our Sun
  • Researchers led by University of Warwick could only see...

Im Focus: Quantum simulation more stable than expected

A localization phenomenon boosts the accuracy of solving quantum many-body problems with quantum computers which are otherwise challenging for conventional computers. This brings such digital quantum simulation within reach on quantum devices available today.

Quantum computers promise to solve certain computational problems exponentially faster than any classical machine. “A particularly promising application is the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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