New Method to Make Lighter Stronger Steel Discovered
A Detroit entrepreneur, Gary Cola, surprised scientists at the Ohio State University by inventing a process that makes steel stronger by a whopping seven percent, all in a measly 10 seconds. What he has discovered may hold the key to making cars and other vehicles stronger, lighter, safer and more fuel efficient.
The process basically involved rapidly heating and cooling the steel to change its molecular structure to make it less brittle. In fact, the steel trademarked as Flash Bainite, has tested to be stronger and more shock resistant than most titanium alloys used by the industry.
Cola has a proprietary Lab setup at SFP Works, LLC, where rollers carry sheets of steel through flames as hot as 1100°C, followed by rapid cooling in a liquid bath. Though the typical temperature and length of time for hardening varies by industry, most steel types are heat-treated at around 900°C for a few hours. Others are heated at similar temperatures for days. Cola’s entire process took less than 10 seconds. He claimed that the resulting steel was seven percent stronger than martensitic advanced high-strength steel. Martensitic steel is so named because the internal microstructure is entirely composed of a crystal form called martensite.