Skip to comments.New Way to Make Lighter, Stronger Steel -- In a Flash
Posted on 06/10/2011 7:26:04 AM PDT by Red Badger
A Detroit entrepreneur surprised university engineers in Ohio recently, when he invented a heat-treatment that makes steel 7 percent stronger than any steel on record -- in less than 10 seconds.
In fact, the steel, now trademarked as Flash Bainite, has tested stronger and more shock-absorbing than the most common titanium alloys used by industry.
Now the entrepreneur is working with researchers at Ohio State University to better understand the science behind the new treatment, called flash processing.
What they've discovered may hold the key to making cars and military vehicles lighter, stronger, and more fuel-efficient.
In the current issue of the journal Materials Science and Technology, the inventor and his Ohio State partners describe how rapidly heating and cooling steel sheets changes the microstructure inside the alloy to make it stronger and less brittle.
The basic process of heat-treating steel has changed little in the modern age, and engineer Suresh Babu is one of few researchers worldwide who still study how to tune the properties of steel in detail. He's an associate professor of materials science and engineering at Ohio State, and Director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Integrative Materials Joining for Energy Applications, headquartered at the university.
"Steel is what we would call a 'mature technology.' We'd like to think we know most everything about it," he said. "If someone invented a way to strengthen the strongest steels even a few percent, that would be a big deal. But 7 percent? That's huge."
Yet, when inventor Gary Cola initially approached him, Babu didn't know what to think.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencedaily.com ...
Steel mill. A Detroit entrepreneur surprised university engineers in Ohio recently, when he invented a heat-treatment that makes steel 7 percent stronger than any steel on record -- in less than 10 seconds. (Credit: © Oleg-F / Fotolia)
Hank Rearden in real life..................
Let's hope it turns out better than in the book.
This me not betting on it.
To bad he’s in Detroit.
His first move will probably be to go to China to manufacture it.
Well, if the government steps in and says turn over your patents ‘for the good of all’ then we’ll know...................
Once a process is known, patented or not, they will steal it, use it and don’t care who says what about it.....................
Other than the well known advances from NASA, how much useful advancement in knowledge and technology do we hear of from the hundreds and hundreds of billions government has wasted on research grants?
Usually we hear of money wasted on foolish research projects that fit the agenda of political correctness, such as the sex lives of monkeys or insects (to prove homosexualism is "normal").
Meanwhile, individuals like Gary Cola forge ahead on their own making new discoveries that dwarf the results of government projects and actually contribute to the general welfare of the nation.
It sounds like he is making a thin layer or martensite, over layer of bainite.
But that would not explain why it would be harder than martensite. Unless they are confusing fracture toughness with hardness. I'd like to see the microstructure!
Soon the government will ask him to sign over the rights, lest he become a Social Danger!
Confusing fracture toughness with hardness,that sounds more like it,invented a heat-treatment is like new math.
Go to the link and read the rest of the story. There is martensite, bainite, austinite and carbides all in the structure.................
Very interesting article! I see he’s going to turn his attention to HAZ material problems caused by welding/cutting. If he succeeds in discovering a simple, cost effective process it’ll be a quantum leap for the industry.
If they don’t steal it mac, the liar, daddy will GIVE it to them and pay them, with tax payer money, to modify any equipment or design new that they need.
They he will buy the steal back from them at a mark up of 75% because he had the EPA come up with rules that will shut down any process that they need to do it within the United States.
I’m not sure exactly what is different from the description in the article, but this is already done (rapid heating & cooling) in a modern steel mill. There must be something different, if an article was written about it as a breakthrough, but given the description, I cannot tell what exactly.
Heating steel rapidly, and rapidly cooling it in water baths, has been done since at least the 80’s. The temperatures vary, mainly on the type of steel the customer has ordered, but can easily be that high, or higher.
However, I will assume that he is doing something different, and producing a higher strength steel, but neither the actual process, or quality of steel, is really described in the article.
He may not be using water.............................
I saw that. It still sounds strange, becuase austinite only exists in plain steel in the gamma phase. Room temperature austinite is only seen in tool steels.
If the speed if the trick then why haven't we see this in heat induction and water quenching?
I'll follow this one. Thanks!
"Cola showed them his proprietary lab setup at SFP Works, LLC., where rollers carried steel sheets through flames as hot as 1100 degrees Celsius and then into a cooling liquid bath.
Though the typical temperature and length of time for hardening varies by industry, most steels are heat-treated at around 900 degrees Celsius for a few hours. Others are heated at similar temperatures for days.
Cola's entire process took less than 10 seconds."
"Using an electron microscope, they discovered that Cola's process did indeed form martensite microstructure inside the steel. But they also saw another form called bainite microstructure, scattered with carbon-rich compounds called carbides.
In traditional, slow heat treatments, steel's initial microstructure always dissolves into a homogeneous phase called austenite at peak temperature, Babu explained. But as the steel cools rapidly from this high temperature, all of the austenite normally transforms into martensite.
"We think that, because this new process is so fast with rapid heating and cooling, the carbides don't get a chance to dissolve completely within austenite at high temperature, so they remain in the steel and make this unique microstructure containing bainite, martensite and carbides," Babu said"
I would suggest the headline is:
Corporate America lobbying Feds for funding to finance factories in Red China
Everybody seems to think he’s using water to quench the steel. He may not be. Or it may be supercooled water. I used to work in a metal fabrication plant. we mostly used aluminum alloys and our biggest customer was Boeing. It was a hot dirty job. I did the calibration and maintenance on the temperature controllers, recorders and such on the ovens, baths and quenchers......................
True, but its not just water, in a water bath either, and the cooling happens in seconds to lock the composition and molecular structure of the steel.
As I said before, the article doesn’t go into enough detail, to make a decision on the process or structure one way or another. While I’m skeptical, I’ll take the article’s word that it is better, and a breakthrough.
If it is in fact a breakthrough we’ll probably see it in the industry in the next few years as it wouldn’t take much to modify current processes to his from what little description is given.
It’s obvious, because of his last name, what he is using.
I hope he’s using an UN-Cola, else he may be starting a Pepsi Syndrome....................
When the Tax man ,the EPA,OSHA and the rest of the filthy Commies get done, he will have to move it offshore,China or Russia.
Contact: Suresh Babu, (614) 247-0001; Babu.firstname.lastname@example.org
[From June 14-30, 2011, Babu is best reached by email, or through Pam Frost Gorder.]
Written by Pam Frost Gorder, (614) 292-9475; Gorder.email@example.com
That’s not how these things work.
All he has to do is license the process to anybody that will use it. All over the world people will be using his process, Europe, Asia, Americas, anybody who needs this type of steel..................
No doubt the EPA will find some reason to ban it.
I know people who worked for US Steel back in the 70’s when they were selling their technology to Brazil and Taiwan. When asked whether that was smart their position was “well, eventually they will steal it anyway, so we may as well get something for it while we still can”.
Patents run out, then anybody can use the process sans royalties. May your dough up front or you won’t make any at all.....................
Right, the article says in traditional heat treating, steel is treated for hours, that may be traditional, but has been outdated since at least the 80’s.
It also says the entire process takes less than 10 seconds, but doesn’t say how much steel is produce in those ten seconds, just sheets of steel, through flames as hot as 1100 C.
While not going into too much detail, open flames generally cause problems in heat treating of steel, in production, and while not open flames the steel in modern production plants is already subjected to temperatures that high.
The steel is then cooled within seconds producing 30-90 meters of steel every 10 seconds.
Using this current process steels can already be produced containing the same phase structures described in the article, as it does not got into much detail. Also as is, steels can be produced with such strength that most industries, auto included, are not able to use them as they do not have the capability to form them.
Another question I would have is if his process would be cost effective enough to be usable if he wasn’t using water baths.
As I said before there isn’t really enough info in the article to make much of a decision, but I’ll trust that this is an actual breakthrough.
Heating the sheet by running an electric current through it would cause the sheet to heat fairly evenly.
If you consider that for thirteen years this Institute has had a department of metallurgical research, which has cost over twenty million dollars and has produced nothing new but a silver polish and a new anti-corrosive preparation, which, I believe, is not so good as the old ones - you can imagine what the public reaction will be if some private individual comes out with a product that revolutionizes the entire science of metallurgy and proves to be sensationally successful!
Rearden steel ... That’s the first thing I thought of, as well.
The rossi e-cat is galt’s ‘motor’.
“called flash processing”
Okay, that makes me think of gang activity, or maybe Anthony Weiner.
Thanks Red Badger.