Without a doubt, steel has proven to be the mainstay of modern civilization for as long as we can remember. It’s strong, it’s affordable, it’s easy to work with, and it is recyclable. However, as tech gallops forward it was never going to be long before steel enjoyed a facelift.
Enter titanium steel.
What is titanium steel?
Titanium has its own set of super-powers, boasting a tensile strength of 63,000 psi compared to steel’s 60,900 psi. It has excellent anti-corrosive properties and is far less dense than steel making it lighter and opening up a range of uses.
Steel is hard, flexible, and workable which makes it the reigning king in many products from construction to kitchen implements.
Since the 1970s, scientists have been tinkering with a steel/titanium alloy with the knowledge that two of the strongest and most versatile metals could potentially open additional doors of innovation. The problem that they had, though, was that the alloy was indeed exceptionally strong, but due to the crystalline structure of the product, it suffered from brittle fracture.
Under pressure, steel is likely to bend, but titanium steel would simply break.
Engineering and science teams in South Korea discovered that a heat treatment followed by thin rolling the aluminium steel would go a long way toward controlling the formation of these crystals. Adding a little nickel helped the process along and resulted in an alloy which is 13% less dense than steel with a higher strength-to-weight ratio.
There have certainly been additional challenges along the way in terms of the mass-production of titanium steel, but it’s great to know that the big brains are on it and we can look forward to further steel alloys which will undoubtedly take the metal industry forward to exciting new places.