Advanced High Strength Steel Development

A group of researchers at the College of Engineering at Wayne State University in the USA have been working to create advanced materials with high-yield strength, fracture toughness and ductility. Their efforts have led to the development of a new material consisting of bainitic steels and austempered ductile iron that has all these characteristics, ultimately resisting fatigue that can cause fractures in materials often with catastrophic consequences.

The group has focused on developing novel materials using a unique processing technique. These materials are processed from existing raw materials used in the steel industry and can be heat treated using currently available industrial austempering processes.

According to the researchers, this third generation advanced high strength steel has a number of advantages over the currently available steels currently being used in industry today. It is claimed to have a very high tensile strength, increased fracture toughness and impact resistance, improved durability and lower weight than other advanced steels currently on the market.

The new steel being developed by the research group is a high bainitic steel with an extremely fine scale microstructure consisting of ferrite and carbon stabilized austenite. It has high carbon and high silicon content, and after the austempering process - an isothermal heat treatment - produces a structure that is both strong and tough. In addition, the austempering process is a more energy efficient heat treatment, therefore leading to increased energy savings.

For more information contact: Professor Susil Putatunda, College of Engineering, Wayne State University. Tel: 1 313 577 3808, E-Mail:, Web:

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