Advanced Metallic Structural Materials and a New Role for Microalloyed Steels
The recent worldwide surge of steel consumption, mainly of low-strength carbon grades, has created raw-materials shortages and price increases. These supply-demand strains could be relaxed by satisfying engineering needs with less steel. However, materials used for such a substitution must combine high weight reducing potential with low cost. Microalloyed (MA) steels are cost- effective substitutes, since their high strength is the result of grain refinement and precipitation hardening. The optimum alloy design of MA steels combines superior properties with lowest processing cost. The growing use of EAF and thin slab casting technology improve the economics of MA steels, especially when alloyed with vanadium. The monetary value of weight reduction is sufficient to increase the profitability of steel makers and to lower the material cost to steel users. This “win-win” situation is financed by the elimination of efforts spent in producing inefficient steel, yielding an increase in wealth formation. To gain acceptance of substitution by the consumer, a long-term strategic plan is needed to be implemented by the beneficiaries – steel producers and steel users. The successful substitution is of importance to the national economy, resources and energy conservation, and the environment. Since microalloyed steels, used as a replacement for carbon steels, offer low-cost weight savings, they deserve to be classified as advanced structural materials.
J.M. Rodriguez-Ibabe, I. Gutiérrez, B. López and A. Iza-Mendia
M. Korchynsky "Advanced Metallic Structural Materials and a New Role for Microalloyed Steels", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 500-501, pp. 471-480, 2005