Researchers at the Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology (GIFT) at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea have developed a new steel alloy that has the strength and lightness of titanium alloy. It’s made from an amalgam of steel, aluminum, carbon, manganese, nickel, and promises to be low-cost and readily available due to its mix of common minerals. One caveat: increasing the aluminum content in steel negatively affects its ductility (the way a material behaves under tensile stress) which results in its increasing vulnerability to fracture. Continue reading for a video and more information.
“In an attempt to rectify this major impediment to producing a practical lightweight steel, the research team at GIFT uniformly distributed nanometer-sized B2 intermetallic compounds (an amalgam of two metals with equal numbers of atoms) in and around the steel grain structure. though incorporating B2 into steel has been tried in the past, it has ordinarily been harmful to the structure. However, by adding nickel to the admixture, the team was able to take advantage of the addition of B2, while also helping to increase the ductility of the steel alloy,” reports Gizmag.