A new super steel?
Australian researchers have created the ideal manufacturing material of the future – clean, green ‘super steel’ that is double the strength of normal steel and resistant to fracture.
“Stronger steel means less material is required to support a load or resist a force, which should lead to lighter structures and vehicles,” says Deakin University researcher, Dr Georgina Kelly.
“This would deliver reduced energy needs and emissions in cars, and greater potential to develop more complex structures such as much longer bridge spans,” she says.
Research has shown that the strength of steel can be increased dramatically in the lab, but Dr Kelly says the challenge now is to translate laboratory success to large-scale production.
Dr Kelly says that although steel faces stiff competition from ‘lighter metals’ like aluminium and magnesium, it has several advantages.
“There is already a huge, worldwide infrastructure for steel processing, and there are also highly developed technologies for manufacturing with steel, joining steel components and countering problems such as corrosion,” she says.
Dr Kelly, is one of sixteen young scientists presenting their discoveries to the media, public and students for the first time, at Fresh Science.
“We’ve selected them from 105 national nominations, brought them to Melbourne, trained them and thrown them to the [media] lions,” said Niall Byrne, Chairman of Fresh Science. “It’s all about focussing public and media attention on scientific achievement.”
The project is supported by the British Council who will fly the best presenter to the UK for a study tour.
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