From shipping containers to skyscrapers to turbines, good old steel is still the workhorse of our modern world. Now, scientists are discovering new secrets to make the material better, lighter, and stronger.
Today a team of material scientists at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea announced what they’re calling one of the biggest steel breakthroughs of the last few decades: an altogether new type of flexible, ultra-strong, lightweight steel. This new metal has a strength-to-weight ratio that matches even our best titanium alloys, but at one tenth the cost, and can be created on a small scale with machinery already used to make automotive-grade steel. The study appears in Nature.
“Because of its lightness, our steel may find many applications in automotive and aircraft manufacturing,” says Hansoo Kim, the researcher that led the team.