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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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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

Scientists' design discovery doubles conductivity of indium oxide transparent coatings

Researchers at the University of Liverpool, University College London (UCL), NSG Group (Pilkington) and Diamond Light Source have made an important design discovery that could dramatically improve the performance of a key material used to coat touch screens and other devices.

Tin doped indium oxide -ITO - is the leading material used in the coating applied to the glass or clear plastic of touch screens, solar cells and light...

18.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Heat shields for economical aircrafts

Environmentally friendly: IWS Dresden ceramic coatings can reduce engine exhaust gases

To make aircrafts more economical, environmentally friendly and robust, Fraunhofer engineers from Dresden have developed a new ceramic heat shield technology....

18.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Turbine from the 3D printer

Together with the H+E-Produktentwicklung GmbH in Moritzburg, Saxony, the Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Technology and Advanced Materials IFAM in Dresden has developed a true-to-scale gas turbine that impressively demonstrates the current potentials and limitations of powder bed-based additive technologies. The technology demonstrator "Siemens SGT6-8000 H", a scaled model of a gas turbine for power generation on a scale of 1:25, was completely manufactured with additive processes except for the shaft.

The component assembly consists of 68 parts made of aluminium, steel and titanium, which through component optimisation and the possibilities of Electron and...

18.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Novel mechanism of electron scattering in graphene-like 2D materials

Suggesting an unconventional way to manipulate the properties of 2D materials in the presence of a Bose-Einstein condensate, and an alternative strategy to design high-temperature superconductors

Understanding how particles behave at the twilight zone between the macro and the quantum world gives us access to fascinating phenomena, interesting from both...

17.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Individualization of Products in Mass Production within the Fraunhofer Lighthouse Project »Go Beyond 4.0«

Six Fraunhofer Institutes have demonstrated the individualization of single products in mass production environments by the employment of digital printing and laser technologies. This substantial progress provides completely new opportunities for design and weight reduction by material savings.

Six Fraunhofer Institutes (ENAS, IFAM, ILT, IOF, ISC and IWU) have succeeded to manufacture electrical conductor patterns, sensors, and high-tech lighting...

17.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

Scientists create a nanomaterial that is both twisted and untwisted at the same time

The material developed at University of Bath allows for incredibly sensitive detection of the direction molecules twist

A new nanomaterial developed by scientists at the University of Bath could solve a conundrum faced by scientists probing some of the most promising types of...

16.09.2019 | nachricht Read more

New metamaterial morphs into new shapes, taking on new properties

But it's the defects that really make them interesting

A newly developed type of architected metamaterial has the ability to change shape in a tunable fashion.

12.09.2019 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Machine learning microscope adapts lighting to improve diagnosis

Prototype microscope teaches itself the best illumination settings for diagnosing malaria

Engineers at Duke University have developed a microscope that adapts its lighting angles, colors and patterns while teaching itself the optimal...

Im Focus: Small particles, big effects: How graphene nanoparticles improve the resolution of microscopes

Conventional light microscopes cannot distinguish structures when they are separated by a distance smaller than, roughly, the wavelength of light. Superresolution microscopy, developed since the 1980s, lifts this limitation, using fluorescent moieties. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research have now discovered that graphene nano-molecules can be used to improve this microscopy technique. These graphene nano-molecules offer a number of substantial advantages over the materials previously used, making superresolution microscopy even more versatile.

Microscopy is an important investigation method, in physics, biology, medicine, and many other sciences. However, it has one disadvantage: its resolution is...

Im Focus: Atoms don't like jumping rope

Nanooptical traps are a promising building block for quantum technologies. Austrian and German scientists have now removed an important obstacle to their practical use. They were able to show that a special form of mechanical vibration heats trapped particles in a very short time and knocks them out of the trap.

By controlling individual atoms, quantum properties can be investigated and made usable for technological applications. For about ten years, physicists have...

Im Focus: Images from NJIT's big bear solar observatory peel away layers of a stellar mystery

An international team of scientists, including three researchers from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), has shed new light on one of the central mysteries of solar physics: how energy from the Sun is transferred to the star's upper atmosphere, heating it to 1 million degrees Fahrenheit and higher in some regions, temperatures that are vastly hotter than the Sun's surface.

With new images from NJIT's Big Bear Solar Observatory (BBSO), the researchers have revealed in groundbreaking, granular detail what appears to be a likely...

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...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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