Steel

  • Whenever you try to improve steel, there are usually tradeoffs involved. It’s a balancing act between different properties. Now, engineers have developed a new type of “super steel” that defies this, staying strong while still resisting fractures.
  • Steel slag is currently utilized both to treat wastewater, and as a concrete aggregate. New research now indicates that using it for the former makes it perform even better as the latter – so the same slag could be used twice.
  • Back in 2011, we heard about a rather quirky but apparently effective bike lock known as the TiGr. Now, its makers are back with a new version that's more compact and harder to cut through.
  • Scientists at North Carolina State University have determined that a new composite metal foam should outperform aluminum when used in the construction of aircraft wings.
  • Rock guitarists sometimes have a strange relationship with their instruments, with many sacrificing them to their art. When Sandvik decided to make an unbreakable all-metal guitar, naturally the company asked fellow Swede Yngwie Malmsteen to try and destroy it.
  • ​A new Kickstarter campaign touting the "world's smallest and sharpest Damascus pocket knife" aims to put the strength of a samurai sword in your trousers. Its makers claim Damascus steel makes not only for a more robust blade, but one that stays sharper than blades made from normal steel.
  • Sandia engineers have developed the most durable metal alloy ever created. Made up of a combination of platinum and gold, the new material is 100 times more wear-resistant than high-strength steel, and the first metal alloy to join the same class as diamond. It also produces its own lubricant.
  • Science
    ​Ordinarily, steel plants have to regularly halt production while a disposable probe gets lowered into the molten steel, measuring its temperature and collecting samples for chemical analysis. That may not be the case for much longer, though, thanks to a new laser-based inspection system.
  • ​When rain water runs down city streets and into storm sewers, it can be carrying a lot of filth with it – filth such as E. coli bacteria, which may end up in rivers. There could be an inexpensive and efficient new way of ridding the water of that bacteria, however, using chips of waste steel.
  • ​Titanium alloys are some of the strongest materials we can build with, but they can be expensive. Now, there's a way to make an alternative that literally grows on trees. Using a new “densification” process, a team made “super wood”, which has the strength and toughness of steel.
  • A team of engineers has created a steel alloy that is much stronger than ordinary steel and is so resilient that it bounces back into shape, even when blasted with a cannon. The researchers believe it could make super-strong armor or help protect space vehicles from micrometeorites.
  • This new steel treatment is starting to make waves in the automotive industry. Radically cheaper, quicker and less energy-intensive to produce, Flash Bainite is stronger than titanium by weight, and ductile enough to be pressed into shape while cold without thinning or cracking.