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Breakthrough made in ultra-high strength steel

By Amy Wallace
Breakthrough made in ultra-high strength steel
The research team uses a tensile machine to test the yield strength and elongation of steel. Pictured from right are He Binbin, Huang Mingxin and Luo Haiwen, whose engineering teams developed the new super steel. Photo courtesy of the University of Hong Kong

Aug. 25 (UPI) -- A team of mechanical engineers has developed a super steel called D & P Steel to improve the strength-ductility trade-off.

Aerospace, automotive and defense applications need metallic materials with ultra-high strength, and in some high-loading structural applications metallic materials also need to have large ductility and high toughness to allow for the precise forming of structural components and avoid catastrophic failure.

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A problem that has plagued engineers is that increasing the strength of steel often leads to a decrease in ductility, known as a strength-ductility trade-off.

A team of mechanical engineers from Hong Kong, Beijing and Taiwan has developed a Super Steel called D&P Steel to address the strength-ductility trade-off. The material cost is one-fifth of steel used in current aerospace and defense applications, the engineers say.

The study, published Aug. 24 in Science, showed a way to develop a strong and ductile breakthrough steel to improve ductility of metallic materials when their yield strength is beyond 2 Gigapascal, or GPa.

D&P Steel has achieved the unprecedented yield strength of 2.2 GPa and uniform elongation of 16 percent, the engineers report, in addition to the super steel having low raw materials cost and simple industrial processing.

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It also outperformed nanotwinned steel, which was also developed by the same research team and demonstrated the best combination of yield strength and uniform elongation among all existing high-strength metallic materials up to its creation.

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