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Materials Engineering

written by: Finn Orfano • edited by: Lamar Stonecypher • updated: 7/20/2009

Materials engineering is an important discipline of engineering that has assisted other technologies to improve the variety of products being produced globally. This science has improved the characteristics of existing materials and has also contributed to produce materials with improved properties.

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    History Of Materials Engineering

    Materials Engineering The science of materials engineering has been used since the ancient times that are referred as the Stone Age, Bronze Age and the Steel Age. All types of materials are included in the materials engineering, including ceramics, magnetic materials, and biological materials. The science of modern materials engineering has been developed from metallurgy that was evolved from mining. The basic knowledge of the materials engineering was emerged in the 19th century when it was established that the thermodynamic characteristics related to the atomic structure are affected by the physical properties of a material. Modern materials science has specially been developed due to the exploration of space, in which various materials were used for the construction of space vehicles, including metallic alloys, silica and carbon materials. Materials engineering has a significant effect on the progress of several technologies including plastics, biomaterials and semiconductors.

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    Fundamentals Of Materials Engineering

    beams The purpose of materials engineering is to obtain knowledge about the materials so that alternate materials with the desired characteristics may be produced. The basics of materials engineering relate the requisite properties of the materials with the structure of atoms in that material. The structure of a material and its properties depend upon the chemical elements of the material. The science of materials engineering examines the connection between the structures of materials at molecular scales and their macroscopic characteristics. The materials engineering is a broad based science that includes essentials of chemistry, physics, mechanical, and civil engineering. Due to the advancement of the nanotechnology, the science of materials engineering has obtained significant importance in recent years.

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    Use Of Materials In Industry

    microscopy The discipline of materials engineering is used in the industry not only to create perfection in the presently used materials, but also assist in the creation of modern products and new technologies. The industrial application of the materials engineering include the design of materials, improvements in processing and the analytical techniques. There is a large variety of the processing techniques used in the industry, such as casting, welding, rolling, sintering, deposition of film etc. Similarly, the analytical techniques include electron microscopy, calorimetry, and neutron diffraction. The materials engineering plays a significant role in the industry by the extraction techniques used for the extraction of materials and their transformation into a useful structure. The absence, existence, or deviation of even small quantities of insignificant elements in a material may produce a noteworthy impact on the ultimate properties of the materials produced. For example, even a small change in the weight of carbon in steel, will radically alter the characteristics of the steel produced, thus affecting its utilization in the steel industry.

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    Impact Of Materials Engineering On Future Developments

    Science and technology is developing in all fields at a fast rEngine ate, and the advancement of the materials engineering has a significant role in this development. The evolving of materials is faster today than ever before in the history, thus enabling improvement in the functioning of existing products, and the development of new technologies that have improved all aspects of our lives. Therefore, materials engineering has become an important discipline of engineering that has a considerable impact on the global economy

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