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The Next Generation of Super-Strong Materials

Source: ThomasNet

Researchers have made some incredible advances across a range of materials -- metals, plastics, paper, composites and more -- enabling today's designers to take advantage of super-strong materials.

Mighty Metals

Bearings play a crucial role across various mechanical devices, from vehicles to machine tools to robots. Manufacturing bearings with true roundness is a technology unto itself, but now there is a new martensitic-hardened steel that has been developed for rolling bearings, offering maximum corrosion resistance under extreme conditions, including dry running applications or when bearings are in contact with such aggressive factors as water, acids and cleaning agents.

Martensitic grades of stainless steel are developed to provide a group of stainless alloys that would be both resistant to corrosion and able to be hardened by heat treating. These grades are mainly used where hardness, strength and wear resistance are required. Although martensitic bearing steels containing chromium and nitrogen have been known for some years, Schaeffler says its formulation offers very high hardness and maximum corrosion resistance through its chemical composition, in combination with a new thermochemical surface layer treatment process, according to Eureka Magazine.

“Cronitect is therefore able to withstand extreme conditions, including salt spray testing in accordance with DIN 50021 SS without any problems, even after 600 hours,” Hub reports.

In another new development, thanks to scientists working at Sandia National Laboratories, stronger super-alloys are on the horizon.

“These specialized alloys are exceptionally strong, lightweight and able to withstand extremes that would destroy everyday metals like steel and aluminum,” according to a statement from the laboratory.

As part of Sandia’s nanoscale research, a group of experts specializing in inorganic synthesis and characterization, modeling and radiation science are shaping the future of super-alloy materials by advancing the science behind how those super-alloys are made. In this case, the group — equipped with an in-house gamma irradiation facility and ion beam materials research laboratory — has designed a system of experiments to study the science of creating metal and alloy nanoparticles.

Earlier, depending on the combination of reactants, dose and dose rate of radiation, researchers have been able to create nanometer-sized particles of gold in various shapes, including spheres, rods and pyramids. The lightweight, corrosion-resistant materials that the team is creating could be applied to weapons casings, gas turbine engines, satellites, aircraft and power plants.

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