Media reported that whenever people try to improve materials like steel, they may end up introducing new weaknesses at the same time, which is a depressing fact, and this is a balancing act between different properties. Now engineers have developed a new type of “super steel” that can withstand this trade-off while maintaining strength and breaking.
For materials such as steel, there are three main properties that need to be balanced – strength, toughness and ductility. The first two may sound the same, but there is an important difference. Strength refers to how much load a material can withstand before deformation or failure, while toughness is the amount of force required for a material to break. As a reference, the glass is relatively strong but less resilient, so it can withstand considerable weight, but it does not require much force to break.
Finally, ductility is an indicator of whether a material is easily elongated or elongated into different shapes. Unfortunately, improving one of these three performance softens the other. For example, increasing strength tends to reduce the toughness or ductility of the material.
But now researchers at the University of Hong Kong and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the United States say they have succeeded in producing a steel that has advanced performance in all three. They boldly call it “super steel”. The anti-deformation yield strength of this new material is about 2GPa, the fracture toughness is 102MPa-m1/2, and the uniform elongation is 19%. This makes the “super steel” stronger and tougher than the Grade 300-horse-age steel used in aerospace engineering — a new type of steel that costs only about 20 percent of its price to build, the team said.
This super steel is manufactured using a new deformation distribution method (D.amp;P), and its toughness comes from a unique design feature. When the surface of a material breaks, several small cracks form under it. These small cracks continue to absorb the energy of the external forces and prevent the main crack from spreading too fast.
The team says the new super-steel could be used in areas such as high-strength bridge cables, body armor and automotive springs. “We have taken a big step towards the industrialization of new supersteels, ” said Huang Mingxin, lead author of the study. “It demonstrates tremendous application potential for a wide range of applications, including super body armor, bridge cables, light vehicles and military vehicles, high-strength bolts and nuts for the aerospace, construction and other industries. “
The study was published in the journal Science.