Novel material has twice the yield strength of steel

Novel material has twice the yield strength of steel
Wayne State University researchers have engineered an advanced high strength steel which they claim has twice the yield strength and three times the fracture toughness over other advanced steels currently being used in industry today.

The novel material is a high bainitic steel with an extremely fine scale microstructure consisting of ferrite and carbon stabilised austenite. After the austempering process - an isothermal heat treatment - it was said to produce a structure that is stronger and tougher than other types of steel.

"Our steel has twice the yield strength, has a very high tensile strength, and is close to three times the fracture toughness over advanced steels currently on the market," said Professor Susil Putatunda, who led the group. "In addition, it has improved strength for fatigue and impact, improved durability, lower weight, and the austempering process reduces energy consumption and eliminates the post-treatment process."

According to Putunda, the material has been found to have the strength and durability necessary for armoured vehicles to resist improvised explosive devices. "Our steel could potentially save human lives against explosive attacks," he noted.

The technology is currently in the manufacturing validation development stage at a steel casting plant. The work is being supported by the National Science Foundation.

Laura Hopperton

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