A new form of ultrahigh strength, maraging steel has been developed by a team from the University of Science and Technology Beijing (USTB). It features high tensile strength, simple manufacturing techniques, and low cost.
This new ultrahigh strength steel was developed by the team from USTB's State Key Laboratory for Advanced Metals and Materials and led by Professor Lyu Zhaoping. Nature, the world's leading scientific journal, published their recent research progress online.
According to Lyu, many of the country's major high-tech fields, including aerospace, new energy, advanced equipment manufacturing, national defense security, and high speed train manufacturing, have great demands for ultrahigh strength steel.
Maraging steel is a prime kind of steel. It contains a large number of precious alloying elements like cobalt, titanium, and molybdenum, and requires a complicated and demanding smelting process and heat treatment technology. These contribute to its high prices, and make it a valuable material only used in core components applied in aerospace and deep-sea fields, rocket engine shells, and aircraft landing gear, for instance.
To further improve the ultimate strength of steel materials, Lyu's team innovated the concept of alloy design.
They greatly decreased the content of precious elements like molybdenum, and totally removed expensive alloying elements like cobalt. Based on different strengthening mechanisms, this ultrahigh strength maraging steel was also developed via high-density nano-precipitation, which lowered the cost, simplified manufacturing, and vastly enhanced comprehensive performance.
Improving the strength, plasticity as well as tenacity of steel is widely believed by experts in this field as a very tough task, but it has been achieved by the USTB team.
This new steel material provides innovative thinking for the development of high-performance steel materials. It has great significance in China's steel industry development, and will effectively boost the process of China in becoming a great steel power.