Durability + Design

Building Performance and Aesthetics

A Product of Technology Publishing
JPCL/PaintSquare | D+D | Paint BidTracker

Subscribe to D+D Magazine

Paint and Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


New ‘Bamboo’ Steel Boasts Flex Appeal

Thursday, August 7, 2014

More items for Building Envelope

Comment | More

Scientists have found a way to manipulate several kinds of metal to mirror the characteristics of bamboo, adding significant strength and flexibility.

The researchers at North Carolina State University and the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Mechanics in Beijing have enhanced the metals' mechanical characteristics by modifying their internal structure to emulate bamboo.

Yuntian Zhu

Using a gradient structure on metal similar to bamboo, scientists from North Carolina State and the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Institute of Mechanics have developed stronger, more flexible metals.

“If you looked at metal under a microscope, you’d see that it is composed of millions of closely packed grains,” said Yuntian Zhu, a professor of materials science and engineering at North Carolina State and co-author of two papers on the new work, in an announcement.

“The size and disposition of those grains affect the metal’s physical characteristics.”

How it Works

Bamboo cells vary in size and density, which help give it strength and flexibility. To give metal the same characteristics, researchers gradually increased the size of the grains on the metal.

Small grains on the metal’s surface makes it harder and less ductile, meaning it can be stretched very far without breaking, according to co-author Xiaolei Wu, a professor of materials science at the Institute of Mechanics.

©Noah Bell / Bamboo Garden

The gradual interface of large and small grains makes bamboo stronger and more flexible than other materials, something researchers have mimicked in metals.

"In short, the gradual interface of the large and small grains makes the overall material stronger and more ductile, which is a combination of characteristics that is unattainable in conventional materials,” Wu said.

It also makes materials more resistant to corrosion, wear and fatigue.

The Metals

Wu and Zhu tested the gradient structure concept in a variety of metals, including copper, iron, nickel and stainless steel.

The technique improved the properties in all of them, the team said.

Wikipedia

Bridges, like this one in Portland, OR, could be made 20 percent stronger using the new gradient structure technique on steel.

The new approach was also tested on interstitial free (IF) steel, which is used in some industrial applications. IF steel is made with very low ductility, making it vulnerable to catastrophic failure.

That type of steel is generally made only strong enough to withstand 450 megapascals of stress, researchers said.

This means it can be stretched to less than 5 percent of its length without breaking, making it extremely unsafe.

Using the gradient structure approach, the IF steel was made strong enough to support 500 megapascals of stress and was able to stretch to 20 percent of its length before failing.

   

Tagged categories: Biomimicry; Bridges; Building materials; Building science; Cast iron; Copper; Metals; Research; Stainless steel; Steel

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Dow Chemical Company
FREE Webcast on Acrylic Roof Coatings

Learn about elastomeric roof coatings. Including: How roof coatings extend the useful life of a roof, save energy, are easy install, and cost effective!


BASF
New resins from BASF will have metals loving water:

Excellent corrosion resistance, low VOC, high gloss, thin films basf.us/industrialcoatings
polyorders@basf.com
800-231-7868


Chemique Inc.
Graffiti Control Made Easy!TM

Artisan® Anti-Graffiti products for quick and easy removal of graffiti. Can be applied onto wood, brick, natural stone, concrete, stucco, metal, painted surfaces, and more. Water based and VOC compliant.


DuPont Building Innovations
DuPont™ Tyvek® Fluid Applied WB System

The DuPont™ Tyvek® Fluid Applied System was put to the test at the new Texas A&M Liberal Arts and Humanities building Click to see the results.


Westcoat
Bringing New Colors To Concrete Surfaces

Liven up your concrete surfaces with Westcoat's newest color choices. Introducing a myriad of Fast Stain, Liquid Dazzle, and Texture-Crete Interior colors.


Coatings For Industry, Inc.
For Tough Environments,
The Toughest Protection

A workplace exposed to vehicle traffic, fuel, and other harsh chemicals needs a floor coating that stands up to daily abuse. Wearcoat 100 high-build polyurethane provides superior protection.


Armakleen Company, The
No Ordinary Soda

ARMEX® baking soda-based abrasives from the makers of ARM & HAMMER® products offers over 12 formulas specially engineered for your application and your budget.

 
 
 
Technology Publishing

The Technology Publishing Network

The Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings (JPCL) PaintSquare
Durability + Design Paint BidTracker JPCL Europe

 
EXPLORE D+D:      Interact   |   Blogs   |   Resources   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   White Papers   |   Classifieds
GET D+D:      Subscribe   |   Advertising Media Kit
KNOW D+D:      About D+D   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us
 

© Copyright 2010-2014, Technology Publishing, Co., All rights reserved
2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951; Tel 1-412-431-8300; Fax 1-412-431-5428; E-mail webmaster@paintsquare.com