A team of researchers at Purdue University in Indiana have developed what they claim is a superstrong material which can transform a few manufacturing processes in the automobile and aerospace industries. The team at Purdue which was led by Xinghang Zhang, a professor in Purdue’s School of Materials Engineering, came up with high-strength aluminum (AI) alloy coatings. Zhang said that the demand for such materials is on the upswing due to the benefits they offer to automotive manufacturers and the aerospace industries.
According to Zhang, the new aluminum alloy is highly durable and lightweight while being just as strong, or even stronger than stainless steel. While stainless steel is not flexible enough to be used in many applications, the new aluminum alloy is highly flexible.
Yifan Zhang, a graduate student in materials engineering, and another member of the research team said that the new material can be used for the manufacture of automobile parts like engines which need to be wear- and corrosion-resistant.
The team introduced ‘stacking faults’, or distortions in the crystal structure of aluminum to make the new superstrong alloy. This resulted in the creation of nanotwins and complex stacking faults, like the 9R phase, which according to Qiang Li, another member of the research team, is a type of stacking fault that is otherwise rarely seen in aluminum.
Li said that the team introduced both twin boundaries and 9R phase within nanograins to the lightweight Al alloys making the end product very strong but highly deformable under stresses. Hence, it can be used for coating applications and when its use is scaled up, it can be used for bulk production of high-strength Al alloys.
Another technique the team used was to introduce iron or Ti atoms into aluminum’s crystal structure. The ‘nanotwinned’ aluminium-iron alloy coatings thus made emerged as one of the strongest aluminum alloys ever created, with strength that is comparable to high-strength steels. The Purdue University team published their findings recently in Advanced Materials and Scripta Materialia.
The Purdue Office of Technology Commercialisation has helped secured a patent for the technology and states that it is available for licensing.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
© 2017 Morjan Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.