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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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That new yarn? -- wearable, washable textile devices are possible with MXene-coated yarns

Drexel's MXene-coated conductive yarn could make devices wearable -- and washable

Producing functional fabrics that perform all the functions we want, while retaining the characteristics of fabric we're accustomed to is no easy task.

11.10.2019 | nachricht Read more

Graphene substrate improves the conductivity of carbon nanotube network

Scientists at Aalto University, Finland, and the University of Vienna, Austria, have combined graphene and single-walled carbon nanotubes into a transparent hybrid material with conductivity higher than either component exhibits separately

Transparent conductive films (TCFs) have many applications in touch screens, organic light emitting diodes and solar cells. These applications need materials...

10.10.2019 | nachricht Read more

TU Bergakademie Freiberg develops unique material from marine bath sponge skeleton

Scientists of the TU Bergakademie Freiberg, together with an international research team, have deciphered the structure of a marine sponge skeleton and developed a novel three-dimensional composite material for the modern materials industry.

The so-called "graphite" has unique structural, mechanical and thermal properties and could serve as a centimetre-thin catalyst for industry in the future. The...

07.10.2019 | nachricht Read more

Machine learning finds new metamaterial designs for energy harvesting

Design would enable thermophotovoltaic devices that convert waste heat to electricity

Electrical engineers at Duke University have harnessed the power of machine learning to design dielectric (non-metal) metamaterials that absorb and emit...

26.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Spider silk: A malleable protein provides reinforcement

Scientists from the University of Würzburg have discovered that spider silk contains an exceptional protein. It generates high bonding strength by making use of an amino acid scientists have hitherto paid little attention to. The finding could have important implications in many areas.

Why are the lightweight silk threads of web spiders tougher than most other materials? Scientists from the Universities of Würzburg and Mainz teamed up to find...

26.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Iridium 'loses its identity' when interfaced with nickel

Rutgers-led study could lead to greater manipulation of quantum materials and deeper understanding of the quantum state for novel electronics

Hey, physicists and materials scientists: You'd better reevaluate your work if you study iridium-based materials - members of the platinum family - when they...

25.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Researchers recreate living 3D displays

It is safe to say that 3D displays do not necessarily occur in nature - unless one considers the cephalopod, which includes the squid and octopus, as a living 3D display which can morph its structure and create complex shapes and textures for camouflage purposes or drag control (see video). Now, a research team from the University of Iowa and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is developing a smart skin inspired by the cephalopod which can be used in 3D displays, as interfaces for the visually impaired, and to help reduce drag on marine vehicles.

In a study published in Advanced Materials Technologies, the team, led by Caterina Lamuta, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of...

24.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

How to design efficient materials for OLED displays

For applications such as light-emitting diodes or solar cells, organic materials are nowadays in the focus of research. These organic molecules could be a promising alternative to currently used semiconductors such as silicon or germanium and are used in OLED displays. A major problem is that in many organic semiconductors the flow of electricity is hampered by microscopic defects. Scientists around Dr. Gert-Jan Wetzelaer and Dr. Denis Andrienko of the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research have now investigated how organic semiconductors can be designed such that the electric conduction is not influenced by these defects.

The basic principle of the first light bulb, invented by Thomas Edison in the 19th century, was quite simple: Electrons – negatively charged particles – flow...

24.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Clarification of a new synthesis mechanism of semiconductor atomic sheet

Toward the realization of next-generation flexible optoelectronic devices

In Japan Science and Technology Agency's Strategic Basic Research Programs, Associate Professor Toshiaki Kato and Professor Toshiro Kaneko of the Department of...

23.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

The best of two worlds: Magnetism and Weyl semimetals

Imagine a world in which electricity could flow through the grid without any losses or where all the data in the world could be stored in the cloud without the need for power stations. This seems unimaginable but a path towards such a dream has opened with the discovery of a new family of materials with magical properties.

These materials - magnetic Weyl semi-metals - are innately quantum but bridge the two worlds of topology and spintronics. Topological materials exhibit strange...

23.09.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New opportunities in additive manufacturing presented

Fraunhofer IFAM Dresden demonstrates manufacturing of copper components

The Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has succeeded in using Selective Electron Beam Melting (SEBM) to...

Im Focus: New Pitt research finds carbon nanotubes show a love/hate relationship with water

Carbon nanotubes (CNTs) are valuable for a wide variety of applications. Made of graphene sheets rolled into tubes 10,000 times smaller than a human hair, CNTs have an exceptional strength-to-mass ratio and excellent thermal and electrical properties. These features make them ideal for a range of applications, including supercapacitors, interconnects, adhesives, particle trapping and structural color.

New research reveals even more potential for CNTs: as a coating, they can both repel and hold water in place, a useful property for applications like printing,...

Im Focus: Magnets for the second dimension

If you've ever tried to put several really strong, small cube magnets right next to each other on a magnetic board, you'll know that you just can't do it. What happens is that the magnets always arrange themselves in a column sticking out vertically from the magnetic board. Moreover, it's almost impossible to join several rows of these magnets together to form a flat surface. That's because magnets are dipolar. Equal poles repel each other, with the north pole of one magnet always attaching itself to the south pole of another and vice versa. This explains why they form a column with all the magnets aligned the same way.

Now, scientists at ETH Zurich have managed to create magnetic building blocks in the shape of cubes that - for the first time ever - can be joined together to...

Im Focus: A new quantum data classification protocol brings us nearer to a future 'quantum internet'

The algorithm represents a first step in the automated learning of quantum information networks

Quantum-based communication and computation technologies promise unprecedented applications, such as unconditionally secure communications, ultra-precise...

Im Focus: Distorted Atoms

In two experiments performed at the free-electron laser FLASH in Hamburg a cooperation led by physicists from the Heidelberg Max Planck Institute for Nuclear physics (MPIK) demonstrated strongly-driven nonlinear interaction of ultrashort extreme-ultraviolet (XUV) laser pulses with atoms and ions. The powerful excitation of an electron pair in helium was found to compete with the ultrafast decay, which temporarily may even lead to population inversion. Resonant transitions in doubly charged neon ions were shifted in energy, and observed by XUV-XUV pump-probe transient absorption spectroscopy.

An international team led by physicists from the MPIK reports on new results for efficient two-electron excitations in helium driven by strong and ultrashort...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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