Innovatief roestvrij staal gamechanger voor auto-industrie

Nieuws - 25 februari 2019 - Webredactie 3mE

Een auto die licht en veilig is en niet kan roesten, dit is het doel van het onderzoeksproject van professor Maria Santofimia Navarro en docente Yaiza Gonzalez-Garcia van de afdeling Materials Science and Engineering. Met hun onderzoek “Development of New Martensitic Stainless Steels for Automotive Lightweight Structural Applications (QPInox)” ontwikkelen zij een nieuwe generatie staal waar de auto-industrie al lange tijd op wacht. Sterk, licht, goedkoper en roestvrij staal dat auto’s milieuvriendelijker maakt. Deze maand  kregen Santofimia en Gonzales een fonds van the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) van de Europese Commissie toegkend. In dit project werken ze samen met Acerinox (een staalmaker in Spanje), IMDEA-Materials (een onderzoeksinstelling in Spanje) en RINA-CSM (een onderzoeksinstelling in Italië).

Samenvatting Development of New Martensitic Stainless Steels for Automotive Lightweight Structural Applications (QPInox)” (alleen in het Engels beschikbaar)

Cars are responsible for 12% of total CO2 emissions in Europe. EU legislation sets mandatory emission reduction targets for new cars. This innovative stainless steel, could become a game changer for the automotive industry. Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) currently being investigated for the automotive industry combine multiphase microstructures with grain sizes at the scale of the nanometer, which confers extraordinary combinations of strength and ductility. However, AHSS strategies are leading to steels that are not corrosion-resistant. The novelty in this project is the creation of a stainless steel with the mechanical properties of a AHSSs. Santofimia will create the multiphase microstructures needed for the demanding mechanical properties and Gonzalez-Garcia will research the corrosion properties of the new steel and the influence of the microstructure. Working together, they will “tune” the microstructure of the steel to achieve the final required properties: strong, light, inexpensive and improved corrosion-resistance.

 

 

Maria Santofimia Navarro

Applying the right “recipe” in the chemical composition and the right timing to the heat treatments makes it possible to produce this new kind of steel. The fundamental knowledge that we have on microstructure development will allow us to avoid critical alloying elements such as nickel in the composition. These investigations require of fundamental research, and the RFCS fund will enable us to perform it. Other application properties will be studied in the consortium, such as weldability and fatigue. This steel is not only interesting for the automotive industry, but it could be extremely useful in other applications as well, such as in energy transport and production.

Yaiza Gonzalez-Garcia

The application of stainless steel will increase the life service of the car, reduce maintenance and will contribute to meet the CO2 emissions reduction targets. Furthermore it will bring new and interesting research challenges on the area of colour paint applications and adhesion. This grant means we can hire a PhD candidate from 1 June onwards. The prospect of producing this steel is very exciting. It would be great if it could ultimately be implemented in industry.

De meest beroemde auto gemaakt van roestvrij staal is die uit de film ‘Back tot he Future’- de Delorean DMC-12. Hij is roestvrij maar de mechanische eigenschappen van het staal zijn matig waardoor de auto verre van licht is en niet zo veilig als de huidige moderne wagens. Zal het Maria Santofimia Navarro en Yaiza Gonzalez Garcia lukken om het staal te ontwikkelen voor een nieuwe Back to the Future auto? 

Lees meer over de Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS)