Aluminum Alloy Newly Developed to be as Strong as Steel

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Researchers developed new aluminum alloys with strength equivalent to that of stainless steel, according to a new study published on February 28, 2018.

A team of researchers at Purdue University have developed aluminum alloys that have the potential to be used in corrosion-resistant coatings.

Stacking faults occurring at the atomic level makes a material strong thus, nanotwins and 9R phase were introduced into aluminum, to help enhance its strength. However, researchers faced an issue while doing this, as aluminum has high stacking fault energy, which corrects the faults itself.

“It has been shown that twin boundaries are difficult to be introduced into aluminum. The formation of the 9R phase in aluminum is even more difficult because of its high stacking fault energy. You want to introduce both nanotwins and 9R phase in nanograined aluminum to increase strength and ductility and improve thermal stability.” said Xinghang Zhang, lead author of the study.

They integrated 9R phase into the material using two different techniques. They shock-induced ultrathin sheets of aluminum with particles of silicon dioxide.

“Here, by using a laser-induced projectile impact testing technique, we discover a deformation-induced 9R phase with tens of nanometers in width,” Xue concluded.

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