Purdue University develops new aluminum alloy material with strength shoulder stainless steel
Aluminum alloy is a very good lightweight material, and many soft drinks like to make cans with it. However, the shortcomings of aluminum alloy are also obvious - too brittle. The good news is that researchers at Purdue University have developed a new type of aluminum alloy material. By introducing "faults" into the crystal structure of the metal, this "defect" can greatly increase the strength of the material. In addition to the strength of the new aluminum alloy compared to the shoulder stainless steel, this feature can also be used for corrosion resistant coatings.


Purdue University develops new aluminum alloy material with strength shoulder stainless steel



At a microscopic level, a metal is composed of a layer of crystal atoms that are repeatedly stacked. When the pattern of a layer is missing, it will cause a "stacking fault".


If there are two faults, it is called "twin boundaries" or "nanowins". If it reaches 9 layers, it is called "9R phase".


Interestingly, these stacked faults can make the material stronger. In view of this, Purdue University researchers hope to include both "nano twin" and "9R phase" features.


Purdue University develops new aluminum alloy material with strength shoulder stainless steel


This aluminum alloy sample will be analyzed by transmission electron microscopy to study its crystal structure.


The difficulty is that metal has a "high stacking fault energy", that is, the material tends to "self-correcting". Two new research authors, Xinghang Zhang, said:


It has been previously confirmed that aluminum materials are difficult to introduce 'double borders', and the introduction of '9R phase' is even more difficult because its 'stacking energy' is too high.


Even so, they have overcome the problem of introducing two properties into the new aluminum, which improves the thermal stability of the material while increasing the strength and ductility of the material.


The new aluminum alloy invented by Purdue University researchers has the strength characteristics of shoulder stainless steel.


To introduce the “9R phase” into new aluminum, scientists used two different technologies. One is "shock-induced", which uses a laser to bombard ultra-thin aluminum sheets and silica particles.


One of the papers, Sichuang Xue said: "We found that this technique can induce a '9R phase' deformation with a width of several tens of nanometers." The second technique is "magnetron sputtering."


This process can introduce iron atoms into the crystal structure of aluminum, thereby creating an aluminum alloy material with higher strength to date. The research team said that the process can be extended to the scale of industrial production.


New technologies are expected to find application in the field of corrosion resistant coatings for electronic equipment and vehicles. Xinghang Zhang said: "These results show how to make aluminum alloy materials that are stronger than shoulder stainless steel. This finding has many potential impacts on business."

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