Next-generation steel and metal alloys are a step closer to reality, thanks to an international research project involving a University of Queensland scientist.
The work could overcome the problem of hydrogen alloy embrittlement that has led to catastrophic failures in major engineering and building projects.
Eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. The old and the new bridge, as seen at night from Yerba Buena Island to Oakland (mid-September 2013). The inset in the top left hand corner shows V Vanadium and 2H, Deuterium a hydrogen isotope (1 proton plus 1 neutron and 1 electron) as a Hydrogen substitute.
Photo credit Frank Schulenburg
UQ Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis Director Professor Roger Wepf said the problem had been recognised for almost 140 years.
"The current generation of these metals can suffer hydrogen embrittlement, where they become brittle and fracture due to the accidental introduction of hydrogen during manufacture and processing," he said.
"A major example of alloy embrittlement occurred in 2013, when bolts in the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland bridge failed tests during construction."
Professor Wepf said hydrogen was extremely volatile and diffused quickly.
"Our research collaboration has, for the first time, localised and visualised hydrogen in steels and alloys," he said.
"This is essential for the development of new alloys with greater endurance."
"We have shown that it's possible to localise hydrogen at atomic resolution -- at the scale of a single atom -- or at a nanometre (less than one-billionth of a metre) scale by combining different technologies in a closed and protected workflow.
"These include state-of-the-art cryo electron microscopy freezing techniques, low-temperature sample preparation in a cryo focused ion beam microscope, and inert cryo-transfer.
The research, published in Science, involved scientists from the Oxford and Sheffield universities in the UK and ETH Zurich in Switzerland.
The UQ Centre for Microscopy and Microanalysis will present two Microscopy and Myscope outreach sessions at the World Science Festival Brisbane on March 25 and March 26. Details at https:/
Professor Roger Wepf | EurekAlert!
Contacting the molecular world through graphene nanoribbons
19.02.2018 | Elhuyar Fundazioa
When Proteins Shake Hands
19.02.2018 | Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena
For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.
In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...
Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale
Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...
For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.
But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...
Scientists from the University of Zurich have succeeded for the first time in tracking individual stem cells and their neuronal progeny over months within the intact adult brain. This study sheds light on how new neurons are produced throughout life.
The generation of new nerve cells was once thought to taper off at the end of embryonic development. However, recent research has shown that the adult brain...
Theoretical physicists propose to use negative interference to control heat flow in quantum devices. Study published in Physical Review Letters
Quantum computer parts are sensitive and need to be cooled to very low temperatures. Their tiny size makes them particularly susceptible to a temperature...
15.02.2018 | Event News
13.02.2018 | Event News
12.02.2018 | Event News
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Materials Sciences
19.02.2018 | Life Sciences