Several years ago, scientists at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory successfully pioneered a low-cost process that created a high-strength titanium alloy. Now, they believe that a more advanced alloy could help create lightweight, strong and cost-effective auto parts and other industrial components.
In a recent study, the lab used electron microscopy to zoom in on the atomic structure of its blend of titanium, iron, vanadium and aluminum. Researchers found that process they used to create the alloy resulted in a novel arrangement of its atoms.
They were then able to tweak that process to create the strongest titanium alloy ever. The scientists say that using the alloy to create lighter vehicle parts could improve their fuel economy and carbon emissions, and that the process could lead to the creation of additional high-strength materials.
SO, WHAT DO YOU THINK?
In what other ways could lighter components benefit manufacturing? Will the auto industry embrace the new technology in an effort to improve fuel consumption?
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