Timeline of materials technology

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Major innovations in materials technology



1st millennium

2nd millennium

18th century

19th century

20th century

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Materials science</span> Interdisciplinary field which studies the discovery and design of new materials

Materials science is an interdisciplinary field of researching and discovering materials. Materials engineering is an engineering field of finding uses for materials in other fields and industries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Metallurgy</span> Field of science that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metals

Metallurgy is a domain of materials science and engineering that studies the physical and chemical behavior of metallic elements, their inter-metallic compounds, and their mixtures, which are known as alloys. Metallurgy encompasses both the science and the technology of metals; that is, the way in which science is applied to the production of metals, and the engineering of metal components used in products for both consumers and manufacturers. Metallurgy is distinct from the craft of metalworking. Metalworking relies on metallurgy in a similar manner to how medicine relies on medical science for technical advancement. A specialist practitioner of metallurgy is known as a metallurgist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Welding</span> Fabrication or sculptural process for joining materials

Welding is a fabrication process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by using high heat to melt the parts together and allowing them to cool, causing fusion. Welding is distinct from lower temperature techniques such as brazing and soldering, which do not melt the base metal.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Jabir ibn Hayyan</span> Early Islamic alchemist

Abū Mūsā Jābir ibn Ḥayyān, died c. 806−816, is the purported author of an enormous number and variety of works in Arabic, often called the Jabirian corpus. The works that survive today mainly deal with alchemy and chemistry, magic, and Shi'ite religious philosophy. However, the original scope of the corpus was vast and diverse, covering a wide range of topics ranging from cosmology, astronomy and astrology, over medicine, pharmacology, zoology and botany, to metaphysics, logic, and grammar.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Science in the medieval Islamic world</span> Science developed and practised during the Islamic Golden Age

Science in the medieval Islamic world was the science developed and practised during the Islamic Golden Age under the Umayyads of Córdoba, the Abbadids of Seville, the Samanids, the Ziyarids, the Buyids in Persia, the Abbasid Caliphate and beyond, spanning the period roughly between 786 and 1258. Islamic scientific achievements encompassed a wide range of subject areas, especially astronomy, mathematics, and medicine. Other subjects of scientific inquiry included alchemy and chemistry, botany and agronomy, geography and cartography, ophthalmology, pharmacology, physics, and zoology.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Crucible steel</span> Type of steel

Crucible steel is steel made by melting pig iron, iron, and sometimes steel, often along with sand, glass, ashes, and other fluxes, in a crucible. In ancient times steel and iron were impossible to melt using charcoal or coal fires, which could not produce temperatures high enough. However, pig iron, having a higher carbon content and thus a lower melting point, could be melted, and by soaking wrought iron or steel in the liquid pig-iron for a long time, the carbon content of the pig iron could be reduced as it slowly diffused into the iron, turning both into steel. Crucible steel of this type was produced in South and Central Asia during the medieval era. This generally produced a very hard steel, but also a composite steel that was inhomogeneous, consisting of a very high-carbon steel and a lower-carbon steel. This often resulted in an intricate pattern when the steel was forged, filed or polished, with possibly the most well-known examples coming from the wootz steel used in Damascus swords. The steel was often much higher in carbon content and in quality in comparison with other methods of steel production of the time because of the use of fluxes. The steel was usually worked very little and at relatively low temperatures to avoid any decarburization, hot short crumbling, or excess diffusion of carbon; just enough hammering to form the shape of a sword. With a carbon content close to that of cast iron, it usually required no heat treatment after shaping other than air cooling to achieve the correct hardness, relying on composition alone. The higher-carbon steel provided a very hard edge, but the lower-carbon steel helped to increase the toughness, helping to decrease the chance of chipping, cracking, or breaking.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vitriol</span> Index of chemical compounds with the same name

Vitriol is the general chemical name encompassing a class of chemical compound comprising sulfates of certain metals – originally, iron or copper. Those mineral substances were distinguished by their color, such as green vitriol for hydrated iron(II) sulfate and blue vitriol for hydrated copper(II) sulfate.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pseudo-Geber</span> Anonymous 13th/14th century alchemist

Pseudo-Geber is the presumed author or group of authors responsible for a corpus of pseudepigraphic alchemical writings dating to the late 13th and early 14th centuries. These writings were falsely attributed to Jabir ibn Hayyan, an early alchemist of the Islamic Golden Age.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cementation process</span> Obsolete steel-making process

The cementation process is an obsolete technology for making steel by carburization of iron. Unlike modern steelmaking, it increased the amount of carbon in the iron. It was apparently developed before the 17th century. Derwentcote Steel Furnace, built in 1720, is the earliest surviving example of a cementation furnace. Another example in the UK is the cementation furnace in Doncaster Street, Sheffield.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of chemistry</span> Historical development of chemistry

The history of chemistry represents a time span from ancient history to the present. By 1000 BC, civilizations used technologies that would eventually form the basis of the various branches of chemistry. Examples include the discovery of fire, extracting metals from ores, making pottery and glazes, fermenting beer and wine, extracting chemicals from plants for medicine and perfume, rendering fat into soap, making glass, and making alloys like bronze.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bloomery</span> Type of furnace once used widely for smelting iron from its oxides

A bloomery is a type of metallurgical furnace once used widely for smelting iron from its oxides. The bloomery was the earliest form of smelter capable of smelting iron. Bloomeries produce a porous mass of iron and slag called a bloom. The mix of slag and iron in the bloom, termed sponge iron, is usually consolidated and further forged into wrought iron. Blast furnaces, which produce pig iron, have largely superseded bloomeries.

Materials science has shaped the development of civilizations since the dawn of mankind. Better materials for tools and weapons has allowed mankind to spread and conquer, and advancements in material processing like steel and aluminum production continue to impact society today. Historians have regarded materials as such an important aspect of civilizations such that entire periods of time have defined by the predominant material used. For most of recorded history, control of materials had been through alchemy or empirical means at best. The study and development of chemistry and physics assisted the study of materials, and eventually the interdisciplinary study of materials science emerged from the fusion of these studies. The history of materials science is the study of how different materials were used and developed through the history of Earth and how those materials affected the culture of the peoples of the Earth. The term "Silicon Age" is sometimes used to refer to the modern period of history during the late 20th to early 21st centuries.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of metallurgy in the Indian subcontinent</span> Aspect of history

The history of metallurgy in the Indian subcontinent began prior to the 3rd millennium BCE. Metals and related concepts were mentioned in various early Vedic age texts. The Rigveda already uses the Sanskrit term Ayas(आयस) (metal). The Indian cultural and commercial contacts with the Near East and the Greco-Roman world enabled an exchange of metallurgic sciences. With the advent of the Mughals further improved the established tradition of metallurgy and metal working in India. During the period of British rule in India, the metalworking industry in India stagnated due to various colonial policies, though efforts by industrialists led to the industry's revival during the 19th century.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ferrous metallurgy</span> Metallurgy of iron and its alloys

Ferrous metallurgy is the metallurgy of iron and its alloys. The earliest surviving prehistoric iron artifacts, from the 4th millennium BC in Egypt, were made from meteoritic iron-nickel. It is not known when or where the smelting of iron from ores began, but by the end of the 2nd millennium BC iron was being produced from iron ores in the region from Greece to India, and sub-Saharan Africa. The use of wrought iron was known by the 1st millennium BC, and its spread defined the Iron Age. During the medieval period, smiths in Europe found a way of producing wrought iron from cast iron using finery forges. All these processes required charcoal as fuel.

Early writing on mineralogy, especially on gemstones, comes from ancient Babylonia, the ancient Greco-Roman world, ancient and medieval China, and Sanskrit texts from ancient India. Books on the subject included the Naturalis Historia of Pliny the Elder which not only described many different minerals but also explained many of their properties. The German Renaissance specialist Georgius Agricola wrote works such as De re metallica and De Natura Fossilium which began the scientific approach to the subject. Systematic scientific studies of minerals and rocks developed in post-Renaissance Europe. The modern study of mineralogy was founded on the principles of crystallography and microscopic study of rock sections with the invention of the microscope in the 17th century.

Geber is the Latinized form of the Arabic name Jabir. It may refer to:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Alchemy in the medieval Islamic world</span>

Alchemy in the medieval Islamic world refers to both traditional alchemy and early practical chemistry by Muslim scholars in the medieval Islamic world. The word alchemy was derived from the Arabic word كيمياء or kīmiyāʾ and may ultimately derive from the ancient Egyptian word kemi, meaning black.

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to alchemy:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Conservation and restoration of copper-based objects</span>

The conservation and restoration of copper and copper-alloy objects is the preservation and protection of objects of historical and personal value made from copper or copper alloy. When applied to items of cultural heritage, this activity is generally undertaken by a conservator-restorer.

Abu'l Hasan ibn Arfa Ra's was an alchemist from Al-Andalus, who lived most of his life during the Almohad period. In his works he develops a theoretical and terminological framework of experimental process and basic laboratory techniques still recognizable today.


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