A team from Pohang University of Science and Technology, South Korea, have manipulated the structure of an iron-aluminum alloy to create a new kind of material that could find application in everything from bicycles to airplanes. South Korean steel giant POSCO is even starting trials of the new alloy.
Steel is renowned for its strength and low price, but is very heavy. To make use of it in scenarios that demand light weight— without resorting to buying titanium—material scientists often alloy it with aluminum, which is light and also mercifully cheap. The mixture of aluminum and steel also usually includes a sprinkling of manganese to make it less brittle, but even then, the material is still usually too brittle for use in vehicles.
Now, the team from South Korea has added nickel to the mixture. The addition of this metal brings about a reaction with some of the contained aluminum, forming what are known as B2 crystals. Sitting both within the grains of steel in the alloy and at their boundaries too, the crystals—just a few nanometers in size—resist shear forces in the material. Gizmodo has the full story of the new metal recently written about the research team behind in the weekly journal Nature.
The aluminum 3-month price fell 0.7% on Thursday, February 5 to $1,875 per metric ton on the LME, making it the day’s biggest mover. The primary aluminum cash price changed direction with a 0.4% drop. After two days of improving prices, the metal finished at $1,862 per metric ton on the LME. After improving for two days, the cash price of primary Indian aluminum declined 0.4% to INR 116.40 ($1.88) per kilogram.
Chinese aluminum prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese aluminum scrap steadied at CNY 12,500 ($2,001) per metric ton following two-days of increases. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese aluminum billet remained essentially flat at CNY 13,200 ($2,113) per metric ton. After a couple of days of improving prices, the price of Chinese aluminum bar held steady at CNY 13,020 ($2,084). The cash price of Chinese aluminum ended a two-day climb, settling at CNY 13,010 ($2,083) per metric ton.