Thin & Light Ultrahigh Strength Steel Developed

Next generation steels could be used to make lighter cars that offer just as much crash protection but consume less fuel.

AsianScientist (May 26, 2015) – Researchers from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) have developed an ultrahigh strength steel that is nonetheless thin and light. The steel could potentially be used to make automobiles more fuel efficient, thereby lowering carbon emissions.

A research team led by Assistant Professor Huang Mingxin at the Department of Mechanical Engineering has developed next generation steels that meet the future technical targets for automobile materials proposed by the US Department of Energy and General Motors.

One of the new steels, transformation-induced plasticity (TRIP) steel, has a ductility that matches QP980, one of the best automotive steels available in the market, but with a 50 percent higher ultimate tensile strength.

In addition, the team has developed a higher graded nano-steel (nano-twinned steel), which has a similar ultimate tensile strength as TRIP, but possesses a higher yield strength (ability to resist deformation) and better ductility.

With the same crash performance and passenger protection capability, the car made with the two new steels could weight 30 percent less, consume 20 percent less fuel and produce 20 percent less emissions. Moreover, they can be readily produced, making use of the existing facilities in steel plants, which can greatly shorten the time for the new products to be taken to market.


Source: The University of Hong Kong.
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