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.

Double-checking for cleanliness

Spotless surfaces are of prime importance in the plastics and metal processing industries, as dust and dirt can impair the function and adhesive properties of parts. A portable measuring device, the KombiSens, can detect both types of contamination.

Greasy fingerprints on wineglasses, ketchup on the table, crumbs on the floor – anyone with a clean disposition would be disgusted. But spotless surfaces are not the prerogative of housework maniacs; they are essential in numerous sec

Packaging film as a sterile zone

No one wants food that has gone mouldy – least of all when they have only just purchased the product. But consumers are not exactly wild about food preservatives either. Packaging researchers are now introducing coated films to fight the battle of the bacteria.

At first glance, food packaging and an operating theater don’t have much in common. But when you look at the elaborate procedures that are used in sterilising packaging materials, the operating theatre analogy is not so far

MIT’s novel fabrics see the light

In work that could lead to applications including multifunctional textile fabrics and all-optical computer interfaces, MIT researchers report the creation of flexible fibers and fabrics that can not only sense light, but also analyze its colors.

“These novel fiber structures offer a unique possibility for constructing an optoelectronic functional fabric because the fibers are both flexible and mechanically tough, and can thus be woven,” write the researchers in the October 14 i

Plastics and rubber – useful in space and on Earth

Innovative uses for plastics, rubber and their derivatives will be on display next week in Düsseldorf, at the world’s leading trade fair for plastics and rubber, K2004. A team from ESA will be present to show visitors how these commonplace materials can be used in space – and how this can lead to new technology for use on Earth.

“Plastics and derived materials today play an important role in spacecraft – years of research and development go into creating new materials that can wit

Intelligent clothing inspired by pine cones

A new type of ’smart’ clothing which adapts to changing temperatures to keep the wearer comfortable is being developed by two universities using nature as a guide.

The clothing will use the latest in micro technology to produce material which will let in air to cool a wearer when it is hot and shut out air when it is cold. This is similar to a system used by pine cones to open up and emit seeds.

The University of Bath and the London College of Fashion are jointly

Glass sensors measure weathering effects

The corrosiveness of a specific atmosphere can be established in a few weeks by thin slices of special glass. The sensors are capable of monitoring the outdoor environment as well as indoors, for instance in sensitive production processes such as chip fabrication.

Where does a Landrover develop rust faster: in the dusty Sahara or parked in front of an English stately home? The answer’s obvious: In rainy Britain of course. But the rate at which corrosion sets in is not only dependent

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