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!
Barely scratching the surface: A new way to make robust membranes
13.12.2018 | DOE/Argonne National Laboratory
Topological material switched off and on for the first time
11.12.2018 | ARC Centre of Excellence in Future Low-Energy Electronics Technologies
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...
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...
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...
A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.
Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...
Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...
12.12.2018 | Event News
10.12.2018 | Event News
06.12.2018 | Event News
14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy