Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A love of steel

08.08.2018

Is there anything new we can learn about steel? Peter Felfer, junior professor at the Chair of General Materials Science is often asked this question whenever he talks about steel, an area of research which he is particularly enthusiastic about. ‘Steel is of such importance that every development of this material has an enormous impact on how sustainable our society can be,’ explains Felfer. Steel has been used for centuries and in order to adapt this material to future challenges, Professor Felfer has received a Starting Grant of 1.5 million euros from the European Research Council (ERC).

‘The importance of steel will become clearer over the next few decades, as hydrogen becomes a key fuel and steel tanks are needed to store it,’ predicts Felfer. Hydrogen is the arch-enemy of steel. When penetrated by hydrogen, steel quickly becomes fragile and brittle. Scientists have been aware of this problem for over 150 years.


FAU junior professor Peter Felfer receives ERC Starting Grant of 1.5 million euros.

FAU/Georg Pöhlein

However, they have not yet been able to discover which mechanisms lead to this corrosion. Further research in this area is critical, as vast investments will be made in infrastructure for storing and transporting hydrogen in the coming decades.

‘Using any material other than steel in this infrastructure is not financially feasible,’ says Felfer. ‘The ERC grant means that we can now begin to investigate the damage caused by hydrogen at the atomic level.’

Felfer first noted the potential of this research ten years ago while writing his graduate thesis at MU Leoben. In his research, he used an atom probe to analyse the atomic structure of materials and assemble computer models from this data.

‘Current atom probes are not capable of differentiating between hydrogen present in the measuring environment and in the material,’ says Felfer. The ERC grant will help Felfer to build an atom probe which is largely free of hydrogen. Although this is a complex and costly endeavour, Felfer hopes that this unique device will reveal the mechanisms behind hydrogen embrittlement in steel.

Felfer has been teaching and doing research in the Cluster of Excellence ‘Engineering of Advanced Materials’ since 2015 and is one of many FAU scientists interested in hydrogen. FAU has been long-established as a pioneering research university in energy technology.

Recently, a new Helmholtz Institute for Renewable energy was established at the Faculty of Engineering where intensive research is underway on hydrogen technology. “We are working together on finding solutions for all aspects of renewable energy,’ explains Felfer.

Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

Prof. Dr. Peter Felfer
Phone: +49 9131 8527505
peter.felfer@fau.de

Dr. Susanne Langer | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
Further information:
http://www.fau.de/

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials
19.12.2018 | Northwestern University

nachricht Artificial intelligence meets materials science
19.12.2018 | Texas A&M University

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

Northwestern discovery tool is thousands of times faster than conventional screening methods

Different eras of civilization are defined by the discovery of new materials, as new materials drive new capabilities. And yet, identifying the best material...

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New megalibrary approach proves useful for the rapid discovery of new materials

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Artificial intelligence meets materials science

19.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

Gut microbiome regulates the intestinal immune system, researchers find

19.12.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>