Strongest Titanium Alloy Could Pave the Way for Lighter Cars

Monday, April 04, 2016

Lighter Cars

Researchers from the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, US have produced an improved version of lightweight titanium alloy that can improve the vehicle’s fuel efficiency and reduce carbon emissions. The new titanium alloy is stronger than any other commercial alloy ever produced.

The titanium gets its strength from the novel way in which atoms are arranged to form a special nanostructure. Researchers said that the material is an excellent candidate for producing lighter vehicle parts and that this could lead to the creation of other strong alloys. Researchers used powerful electron microscopes and a unique atom probe imaging technique to examine the structure following which, the titanium alloy was created. The team also optimised the heat–treating process to make the alloy stronger and achieve very high strength.

The alloy would help the automobile industry build lighter vehicles and thus, reduce carbon emissions. "This alloy is still more expensive than steel but with its strength–to–cost ratio, it becomes much more affordable with greater potential for lightweight automotive applications," said Vineet Joshi, a metallurgist.

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