Next-gen steel under the microscope

17 March 2017

Next-generation steel and metal alloys are a step closer to reality, thanks to an international research project involving CMM Director, Professor Roger Wepf.

The work could overcome the problem of hydrogen alloy embrittlement that has led to catastrophic failures in major engineering and building projects.

Professor Roger Wepf said the problem had been recognised for almost 140 years.

“The current generation of these metals can suffer hydrogen embrittlement, where they become brittle and fracture due to the accidental introduction of hydrogen during manufacture and processing.  A major example of alloy embrittlement occurred in 2013, when bolts in the eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland bridge failed tests during construction.”

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