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.