Korean Material Beats Titanium Alloy on Strength and Ductility
Researchers at the Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea have found a way to produce a steel alloy that is light but that beats even titanium alloys for strength and ductility. The scientists achieved this result by altering how metal compounds are arranged in the alloy. The steel developed by the Korean team exploits the hardness of B2 and the ductility of austenite (two substructures often found in steel alloys) to form a material with a microstructure that “is stronger and more pliable than even titanium alloys.”
Car makers are increasingly turning to bioplastics and composite materials to lighten their vehicles in a race to boost fuel economy and increase sustainabilty. Reducing a car’s weight “by one-tenth can boost fuel economy by 6-8 percent.” The team at Pohang will now work with South Korean steelmaker POSCO, one the world’s largest producers of steel, to scale up its methods to an industrial level.