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Steel

— Good Thinking

Delta Shelter provides almost indestructible living space

By - March 13, 2012 14 Pictures
What do you do when you want to build a worry-free home on land that also happens to be a 100-year flood plain? If you're smart, you'll do what the owner of Delta Shelter did and have Olson Kundig Architects build you a metal fortress to withstand the elements in style. The compact 1,000 sq ft (93 sq m) steel-walled hideaway with a footprint of only 200 sq ft (18.6 sq m) looks ready to handle whatever the Washington wilderness can throw at it - even, perhaps, a 1,000-year flood. Read More
— Science

Self-taught metallurgist creates lighter, stronger steel in a flash

By - June 10, 2011 1 Picture
Having been around for a few centuries, steel is what is known as a “mature technology” and the basic process of heat-treating has remained largely unchanged in the modern age. So when self-taught metallurgist Gary Cola approached engineers at Ohio State University claiming to have found a way to increase the strength of steel by seven percent, they were justifiably skeptical. However, after the engineers tested steel produced using the new method, Cole’s claims were borne out and the engineers set about understanding what was happening. Read More
— Science

Metallic material can switch back and forth between hard and soft states

By - June 7, 2011 2 Pictures
We may not yet have the liquid metal depicted in the Terminator movies, but scientists have now developed something that’s vaguely along the same lines. German materials scientist Dr. Jörg Weißmüller and Chinese research scientist Hai-Jun Jin have created a metallic material that can change back and forth between being strong but brittle and soft but malleable, via electrical signals. Read More
— Science

Metallic glass parts can now be created in milliseconds

By - May 16, 2011 2 Pictures
What do you do if you want a material that’s as hard as glass, but that can bend without shattering, like steel? Well, if you’re a researcher at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), you invent metallic glass. There are several types of metallic glass – which is said to be stronger than steel or titanium – all of which consist of a metal with the disordered atomic structure of glass. Although it’s been possible to produce the material in bulk since the early 90s, the production process has limitations, that have kept metallic glass from coming into common use. Now, however, a Caltech team has come up with a new process, in which the material can be shaped as easily as plastic. Read More
— Science

Save those cigarette butts, and use them to protect steel

By - May 13, 2010 1 Picture
It has been estimated that every year, 4.5 trillion cigarette butts are added to the world’s ecosystem. That would be bad enough if they were simply disgusting, but when they’re left on beaches or washed down storm sewers, they can be lethal to fish. Unfortunately, there’s nothing that can be done with the butts, other than throwing them out... until now, perhaps. Researchers from China’s Xi’an Jiaotong University claim that cigarette butts can be used to make an excellent rust inhibitor. Read More
— Urban Transport

Mosquito Electric Bike by Toto Design

By - September 24, 2009 8 Pictures
With a very sturdy folded steel frame and elegant simple design, the Mosquito or Mücke electric bike is one good-looking machine. Its 48V lithium batteries only cost a few (European) cents to charge up and will give a range of about 60km (37 miles). The 0.8kW motor produces a top speed of around 50km/h (31mph) and the bike also has a removable center pole for instant accessibility. Read More
— Good Thinking

Steel 'Velcro' supports 35 metric tons, looks scary

By - September 14, 2009 4 Pictures
A new material called Metaklett is like hook-and-loop (“Velcro”) made out of steel and much scarier. One side of the material bristles with sharp spikes and the other side has jagged steel brushes. Looking something like the mouth of a prehistoric shark, a square meter of Metaklett can support up to 35 metric tons and withstand heat of up to 800 degrees Celsius. Developed at the Technical University of Munich, Germany, researchers borrowed from the traditional hook-and-loop concept to design a fastener for extreme loads and environments such as automotive, building, or military applications. Read More
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