Automakers are continually searching for strong, lightweight materials that increase vehicle safety and fuel efficiency.
While steel is strong and affordable, it is heavy since it is composed primarily of iron. Adding other materials may make steel alloys lighter, but they also make them less flexible and weaker.
New research has led to the creation of a low-density (lighter) alloy that is stronger and more flexible than very expensive titanium alloys. The new "High Specific Strength Steel" is created by adding aluminum to steel, which makes it lighter but weaker.
To counter this loss of strength, small amounts of manganese ad nickel are added, which combine with the aluminum within the steel grain structure to make a stronger material.
TIP: Lighter, stronger materials increase auto safety, and lighter vehicles cocoon passenger in safety cages and exert less weight and mass against one another in crashes.
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