The automotive industry continually strives to discover new, strong yet malleable alloys for lightweight, fuel-efficient car manufacturing. We recently reported on efforts to develop new magnesium alloys, including those of researchers at NIMS and Nagaoka University of Technology, to create a magnesium alloy that can be used to make a low cost, light weight sheet metal for automotive applications, according to an article on phys.org.
Many factors have to be scrutinized when trying to make a lightweight alloy. With each new material innovation comes potentially greater fuel efficiency, but also a new list of analytical challenges. With the multitude of alloys being used in the automotive industry, confirmation of chemical composition using X-ray fluorescence (XRF) is a proven technology for the elemental analysis of specialty alloys to ensure the correct alloys are combined in the right percentages and the finished material meets precise manufacturing specifications.
Now, phys.org reports that researchers from the National University of Science and Technology “MISIS” developed a database that will significantly increase in the processing time to create innovative steel grades with specified strength and ductility, which will allow manufacturing car bodies of the most complex shapes.
According to the article, the synthesis of new materials is based on phase state diagrams, which show the interaction of chemical elements at different temperatures. Based on this information, it is possible to predict the physical properties and microstructure of alloys, and, most importantly, the conditions and technology for their production.
By studying and collecting thermodynamic parameters, scientists created a database for use in specialized programs that allow modeling new materials with the required properties. Scientists managed to calculate the exact crystallization temperature of steel-based alloys and various changes in their heat treatment. Now, to create new steel grades, the database can be used to generate a list of conditions that will optimize the processes, including heat treatment and pressure treatment. The research is published in Calphad.
Steel grades are differentiated by the types and quantities of alloying elements and are refined and processed to have the appropriate properties for specific automotive components. Portable XRF analyzers are indispensable tools for helping to ensure that the right alloys are used in the correct percentages because even slight variations in the recipe can render the parts defective. Read about how X-ray fluorescence (XRF) technology is increasingly being adopted in the auto making industry as a way to understand which elements are being incorporated into the making of a car – on the spot, and in real time.
Learn more about tools and technologies to identify unknown materials and verify material composition throughout the automotive product development and manufacturing process.