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Materials

Nanoschmuck
Nano jewelry (Source: MPI-MF)
Materials and the knowledge around their structure, properties and processing, plays a key role in advanced technologies as well as in daily applications. Whether it be the coating of a frying pan, the ceramic joint in a hip transplant, the polymer fibers in a safety belt or the aluminum alloys in the conducting paths of computer chips - none of these examples would be possible without the appropriate material.
 
Materials have had this
MEMS
Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (Source: MPI-MF)
key role since the beginning of mankind.  Entire eras have been named after the most significant strategic materials of their time (Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age).
 
The development of new materials continues to be the pioneer for new technologies. It continuously opens new product opportunities and stimulates competitiveness.
AUDI Spaceframe
AUDI Spaceframe (Source: MPI-MF)
 
Especially in the future, material science will play a key role in preventing the depletion of resources. Be it the decline in oil production and the resulting consequences for products whose manufacturing is based on oil. Be it the limited deposits or the increasingly difficult and cost-intensive mining of pure metals / ores.  All of these issues demand intelligent handling of the applied materials, not only to conserve nature, but also to maintain the advancement of mankind.  

Disciplines

Simulation Versetzungsstruktur
Simulation of a Dislocation Structure (Source: MPI-MF)
Materials Science is the discipline in which materials are researched, developed and applied under the particular aspect of natural sciences.  Materials Science ranges from the handling of physio-chemical fundamentals of materials, pure experimental research, computer simulation and targeted combination of properties to the handling of production-oriented problems.  
 
The independency as well as interdisciplinarity of the subject field have been systematically implemented within the Material Sciences program at the University of Stuttgart.  

Versatile Assignments

The scientific study of materials and those factors that influence their characteristics, require the use of the most modern equipment, scientific techniques and theories. In the development, selection and optimization of materials, it is necessary to be knowledgeable about the functionality, manufacturing process and operating conditions of future elements, as well as the complex interdependencies of these factors with respect to the inner structure of the material.  In many cases, the work of material scientists is similar to that of physicists and chemists - especially in fundamental research or applied research. In other instances, the work of a mechanical engineer, electrical or civil engineer and process engineer are also closely related.
 
Occupation of Material Scientists can be in an unusually broad spectrum of activities: they range from high-grade theoretical material research and applied research, process and product development, quality assurance and production to management, sales, etc.

Here are several selected representative examples

  • Material selection: What type of material for which purpose? Should I used copper for the high voltage power line or would a less expensive aluminum material suffice? 
  • Material application: How many hours can a mixed-pressure turbine operate before it needs to be checked?
  • Quality control: How good is the sheet metal of the supplier? How much waste does the chip manufacturer have and why?
  • Material testing: Which hardness, solidity, durability, robustness does the new material have and above all: how does one measure these characteristics? 
  • Material production: What is the cooling rate one must consider during pouring? What amount of purity must one conform to when producing ceramic knives?
  • Optimization of materials: How can aluminum alloys be made more durable without increasing production costs all too much.