Materials Science: History, Cycle of Materials and Solid State Reactions

(Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gunther Eggeler, Dr.-Ing. Guillaume Laplanche)

This module is part of the new bachelor program Materials Science and consists of two parts. The first part deals with the history of materials science and technology. Important technological developments that influenced mankind, and scientific discoveries that led to progress are analyzed. Examples of the strong impact of materials research on society are given. Then materials cycles are analyzed, starting with the availability of resources and raw materials and ending with options for the recycling of components once they have reached the end of their exploitable service life. The role that materials science and technology can play in addressing the grand challenges of mankind (energy, traffic, environment and health is also discussed). The focus of the second part of the lecture is on solid-state reactions and the key role they play in materials science and engineering. This starts with the reduction of ores when making Fe and Al. Solid-state reactions govern the evolution of microstructure during heat treatments and the kinetics of the reaction of materials with gases and melts. A number of examples from different fields (blast furnace, solidification of melts, additive manufacturing) are used to illustrate the importance of thermodynamics (driving forces and solubilities) and kinetics (mobilities of atoms, diffusion-controlled reactions, interface reactions). The students learn that – when discussing reaction rates – both driving forces and mobilities are important.