Explore what kind of raw materials are mined in different European countries

(metals and industrial minerals)


Berlin Central Station

The Berlin Train Station (Berlin Hauptbahnhof) was designed by architects Meinhard von Gerkan and Jürgen Hillmer and can hold more than 1,500 trains and 25,000 passengers on a daily basis. 500 000 m³ of concrete and 85,000 tons of steel was used to make the building and individual bays ventilation towers are equipped with 27000 glass blocks. Overarching the building is a giant dome (the roof) which is made from 11 800 glass panels, which are all uniquely different. Among the glass dome, an area of 2700 square meters of solar panels is composed of 1250 modules.

Printing Press

The beginning of the printing revolution can be attributed to the German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer and publisher, Johannes Gutenber who invented mechanical movable type printing. Some believe that this event was the most significant in the modern period as it introduced the renaissance era with mass communication and enabled a quicker spread of learning across the masses, permanently altering the structure of society.

Kaolin (also known as ‘china clay’), is a white, alumina-silicate and is used along with talc as a filler and coating and helps the paper machines to run smoothly.


In 1886, the German engine designer and engineer Karl Benz invented the first automobile powered by an internal combustion engine. He also pioneered the automobile manufacturer, Mecedes-Benz along with Betha Bemz.

The design of the car has evolved a lot over the decades and a range of different materials are used for their production. For example, high-strength steel and carbon fibre is used to improve crash protection of the vehicle and to lower the weight. Body panels, engine blocks, roofs, wheels and fuel tanks however are often made with aluminium.


The first silvered-glass mirror was invented by German chemist, Justus von Liebig in 1835. His invention involved a process of a thin layer or metallic silver onto glass through the chemical reduction of silver nitrate. As technology evolved so did the process of making mirrors and today mirrors are made with a glass substrate which is shaped, polished and cleaned, and then coated with either silver or aluminium.


It was when pharmacist Ottomar von Mayenburg experimented with tooth powder, mouthwash and ethereal oils that he developed a toothpaste called Chlorodont. Peppermint was added for flavour and the toothpaste became extremely popular.

Salt and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) are among materials that can be substituted for commercial toothpaste. Fluorine is the basic component of toothpaste.

Solar Panels with porter "Sunfix" in agriculture

The sun provides an incredible resource for generating clean and sustainable electricity without pollution or global warming emissions. The technology used in association with solar power can determine how great the impact on the environment will be.

Main CRM for example, is pure silicium and acts as a semi-conductor material (polycristalline) while the dopant is phosphorus and boron. The panel is manufactured using silver and aluminium circuit paths and the panels are connected to each other by tin circuit paths.

Fortunately, the development of multi-junction photovoltaic cells, achieve high efficiency and has increased dramatically and are now widely used. They are able to capture more sunlight energy for conversion into electricity, in part due to their composition of different materials, including gallium arsenide, gallium indium phosphide and germanium.

German Automotive Industry – Casting of motor parts

It is said that ‘innovation is a gateway to success’. Currently, Germany is the world leading producer of automobiles which could be said is due to their innovative team, which includes many high innovative suppliers that are the back bone of the car manufacturing.

The car industry uses a tremendous number of materials to build cars, including iron, aluminum, plastic steel, glass, rubber, petroleum products, copper, steel and others. These parts are used to create everything from the small things such as the dashboard needles and wiring, to the big things such as the engine block or the transmission gears. Steel is by far the most used material in car manufacturing.