By adding Nickel at a nano level, alloy is stronger and lighter

Scientists develop steel alloy ‘as good as titanium’, only cheaper

A new lightweight and cheap steel alloy has been produced that could impact the cycle, aircraft and automotive industries, according to a paper published in Nature (via The Economist).

By adding nickel at a nano level, Dr Hansoo Kim of the Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea have come up with an alloy that is as strong as titanium alloys, but far cheaper to produce.

Building on the strength and relative cheapness of steel, the researchers sought to tackle the sometimes prohibitive weight of steel (which has seen its use in automotive manufacture reduce) and found that nickel formed tiny and strong B2 crystals with aluminium.

There’s still a long way to go before the alloy is used in production, but the bicycle industry would surely benefit from such a material. For more on the technicalities, head to The Economist article and Nature paper.

(HT @beryl666)

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