For those who thought they knew everything that could be known about heat treating steel.
Tooling and Production Magazine reported on this new “Flash Processing” technique that raises mechanical properties by about 7% over conventional martensitic HS steels.
This process is also said to improve formability- drawability or rollability- by about 30%. Obviously, that gives designers quite a bit of potential mass savings- key to lower fuel consumption and higher performance- lighter, stronger, more efficient- in transporation applications where these kinds of steels are typically used.
The structure of the steel after processing shows the expected martensite as well as bainite and an abundance of carbides. Traditional heat treatments try to assure a uniformity of the desired resultant microstruture- anomalous structures are considered bad.
The hybrid structure developed by this flash processing technique is a – dare we say- “composite microstructure” which gives the material bulk mechanical properties of improved strength and increased ductility.
We look forward to the continued development of this exciting new process by it’s inventor, Gary Cola, the research team at The Ohio State University, and National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Integrative Materials Joining for Energy Applications which is leading a consortium of other universities to develop this technology.