Related topics: polymer · light · atoms · magnetic · thin films

Building a Mars base with bacteria

How do you make a base on Mars? Simple: you send some bacteria to the red planet and let them mine iron. After a couple of years, you send in human settlers who use the iron to construct a base. That, in a nutshell, is the ...

Turning up the heat to create new nanostructured metals

Scientists have developed a new approach for making metal-metal composites and porous metals with a 3-D interconnected "bicontinuous" structure in thin films at size scales ranging from tens of nanometers to microns. Metallic ...

'Self-cleaning' concrete could keep buildings looking new

Building materials that clean themselves could save immense time and labor in homes and businesses, as well as reduce disease risk in settings such as hospitals. Now, researchers reporting in ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces ...

Clean carbon nanotubes with superb properties

Single-wall carbon nanotubes (SWCNT) have found many uses in electronics and new touch screen devices. Carbon nanotubes are sheets of one atom-thick layer of graphene rolled up seamlessly into different sizes and shapes. ...

Researchers find secret of beetle success: Stolen genes

An international team of researchers has found what appears to be one of the secrets to evolutionary success for beetles—genes stolen from bacteria and fungi. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy ...

Economizing on iridium

Iridium is an ideal catalyst for the electrolytic production of hydrogen from water—but it is extremely expensive. But now a new kind of electrode made of highly porous material does an excellent job with just a hint of ...

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Material

Material is synonymous with Substance, and is anything made of matter - hydrogen, air and water are all examples of materials. Sometimes the term Material is used more narrowly to refer to substances or components with certain physical properties which are used as inputs to production or manufacturing. In this sense, materials are the pieces required to make something else, from buildings and art to stars and computers.

A material can be anything: a finished product in its own right or an unprocessed raw material. Raw materials are first extracted or harvested from the earth and divided into a form that can be easily transported and stored, then processed to produce semi-finished materials. These can be input into a new cycle of production and finishing processes to create finished materials, ready for distribution, construction, and consumption.

An example of a raw material is cotton, which is harvested from plants, and can then be processed into thread (also considered a raw material), which can then be woven into cloth, a semi-finished material. Cutting and sewing the fabric turns it into a garment, which is a finished material. Steelmaking is another example—raw materials in the form of ore are mined, refined and processed into steel, a semi-finished material. Steel is then used as an input in many other industries to make finished products.

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