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Steel

— Automotive

Revolutionary steel treatment paves the way for radically lighter, stronger, cheaper cars

Back in 2011, we wrote about a fascinating new way to heat-treat regular, cheap steel to endow it with an almost miraculous blend of characteristics. 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. It's now being tested by three of the world's five largest car manufacturers, who are finding they can produce thinner structural car components that are between 30-50 percent lighter and cheaper than the steel they've been using, while maintaining the same performance is crash tests. Those are revolutionary numbers in the auto space.

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— Materials

Slick coating keeps steel clean and tough

When liquids stick to steel for long enough, the steel corrodes or becomes contaminated. Unfortunately, however, porous surface coatings that repel liquids also tend to make steel weaker … until now, that is. Scientists at Harvard University have recently discovered that their existing SLIPS (Slippery Liquid Porous Surfaces) technology not only causes liquids to roll right off, but it actually makes steel stronger.

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— Materials

New alloy of steel created that's as strong and light as titanium

By altering metal alloy at a nanoscale level, researchers at the Graduate Institute of Ferrous Technology (GIFT) at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea have created a new material that has the strength of steel and the lightness of titanium alloy. Made from an amalgam of steel, aluminum, carbon, manganese, and nickel, the new alloy promises to be low-cost and readily available due to its mix of common minerals. Read More
— Science

Bamboo inspires new process for making metals tougher

Steel is a common benchmark against which the strength of materials is measured, with "stronger than steel" a familiar catch cry for those touting the properties of some new space-age material. But now researchers at North Carolina State University have created steel that is stronger than steel using a process that increases the toughness of various metals by altering the microstructures within them. Read More
— Architecture

Taizhou Bridge awarded supreme structural engineering gong

The 2,940-m long Taizhou Bridge has won the Supreme Award for Structural Engineering Excellence at this year's Structural Awards. The event gives the nod to a variety of structures across numerous categories, but it was the three-tower, long-span suspension bridge, the first of its kind, which received the overall "Supreme" gong. Read more about the project and the individual category winners after the cut. Read More
— Outdoors

Gerber's Impromptu Tactical Pen is designed for danger

While the chances of being caught up in a dangerous situation are thankfully low, having something about your person for such an eventuality isn't a bad idea. The Impromptu Tactical Pen from Gerber, with its glass-breaking steel tip, is one option for those who want to keep themselves safe. It is, as its name suggests, a simple writing implement with a hidden extra that could mean the difference between life and death. Read More
— Architecture

Metal-faced Rooftecture OT2 house harbors surprisingly inviting interior

They say that walls can talk and if the cold, windowless metal exterior of the Rooftecture OT2 house in downtown Osaka, Japan says anything, surely it's "Leave me alone." Those lucky enough to make it through the front door (complete with forbidding chainlink door handle), however, are in for a bit of a shock. In stark contrast to its outer shell, the family home offers a warm and welcoming diffused light and mixed wood interior comfortably spread over three levels. Read More
— Automotive

Honda develops new technology to weld steel and aluminum together

Although some engineers have had success in spot welding steel and aluminum together, it has largely been considered impossible to achieve reliable, continuous welds directly between the two dissimilar metals. That changed last Thursday, however, when Honda Motor Company announced that it has devised a technique for doing that very thing. The results, which include lower vehicle weight and better performance, can be seen in the 2013 Accord. Read More
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