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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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Graphene-based actuator swarm enables programmable deformation

Actuators that can convert various environmental stimuli to mechanical works have revealed great potential for developing smart devices such as soft robots, micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), and automatic Lab-on-a-Chip systems.

Generally, bilayer structures are widely used for design and fabrication of stimuli responsive actuators. In the past decade, to pursue fast and large-scale...

02.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

How to remove dirt easily

Dirt is not always dirt. Some dirt, such as dust, adheres only slightly to surfaces. But there is also dirt, such as dried paint, which sticks strongly. How can the adhesive properties of a surface be adjusted so that different types of dirt do not stick to it? This knowledge is essential to understand and minimize the contamination of surfaces by dirt particles. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research (MPI-P) in Mainz have addressed this question.

All surfaces in our daily lives become dirty over time with particles such as dust, pollen or microorganisms. Therefore, surfaces are desirable that are easy...

02.04.2020 | nachricht Read more

Printing complex cellulose-based objects

Trees and other plants lead the way: they produce cellulose themselves and use it to build complex structures with extraordinary mechanical properties. That makes cellulose attractive to materials scientists who are seeking to manufacture sustainable products with special functions. However, processing materials into complex structures with high cellulose content is still a big challenge for materials scientists.

A group of researchers at ETH Zurich and Empa have now found a way to process cellulose using 3D printing so as to create objects of almost unlimited...

27.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

A key development in the drive for energy-efficient electronics

Scientists have made a breakthrough in the development of a new generation of electronics that will require less power and generate less heat.

It involves exploiting the complex quantum properties of electrons - in this case, the spin state of electrons.

24.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

Skoltech scientists developed a new cathode material for metal-ion batteries

Researchers from the Skoltech Center for Energy Science and Technology (CEST) created a new cathode material based on titanium fluoride phosphate, which enabled achieving superior energy performance and stable operation at high discharge currents.

Nowadays, the rapid development of electric transport and renewable energy sources calls for commercially accessible, safe and inexpensive energy storage...

24.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

Artificial solid fog material creates pleasant laser light

An international research team led by Kiel University develops an extremely porous material made of "white graphene" for new laser light applications

With a porosity of 99.99 %, it consists practically only of air, making it one of the lightest materials in the world: Aerobornitride is the name of the...

19.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

Seeing how grain boundaries transform in a metal

Max-Planck-scientists prove the existence of phase transformations in grain boundaries and publish their results in Nature

Grain boundaries are one of the most prominent defects in engineering materials separating different crystallites, which determine their strength, corrosion...

19.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

Silicon-graphene hybrid plasmonic waveguide photodetectors beyond 1.55 μm

Silicon photonics is known as a key technology for modern optical communications at the near infrared wavelength-band, i.e., 1.31/1.55 μm. Currently silicon photonics has been desired to be extended to the wavelength-band beyond 1.55 μm, e.g., 2 μm, for important applications in optical communications, nonlinear photonics, and on-chip sensing.

However, the realization of high-performance silicon-based waveguide photodetectors beyond 1.55 μm still faces challenges since there are some fabrication...

16.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

New study presents hygroscopic micro/nanolenses along carbon nanotube ion channels

A novel technology, capable of analyzing nanomaterials in our daily lives with the use of common 'salt' has been developed. This allows various molecules to amplify up to hundreds of times the signals they produce in response to light, thereby making them very useful for nanomaterial research.

A research team, led by Professor Chang Young Lee in the School of Energy and Chemical Engineering at UNIST has introduced a novel technology, which allows...

16.03.2020 | nachricht Read more

Nanostructured rubber-like material with optimal properties could replace human tissue

Researchers from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden, have created a new, rubber-like material with a unique set of properties, which could act as a replacement for human tissue in medical procedures. The material has the potential to make a big difference to many people's lives. The research was recently published in the highly regarded scientific journal ACS Nano.

In the development of medical technology products, there is a great demand for new naturalistic materials suitable for integration with the body.

16.03.2020 | nachricht Read more
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Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

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...

Im Focus: Rolling into the deep

Scientists took a leukocyte as the blueprint and developed a microrobot that has the size, shape and moving capabilities of a white blood cell. Simulating a blood vessel in a laboratory setting, they succeeded in magnetically navigating the ball-shaped microroller through this dynamic and dense environment. The drug-delivery vehicle withstood the simulated blood flow, pushing the developments in targeted drug delivery a step further: inside the body, there is no better access route to all tissues and organs than the circulatory system. A robot that could actually travel through this finely woven web would revolutionize the minimally-invasive treatment of illnesses.

A team of scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems (MPI-IS) in Stuttgart invented a tiny microrobot that resembles a white blood cell...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

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