The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining in the UK has awarded the Cook/Ablett prize to the article Evaluation of the potential of high Si high C steel nanostructured bainite for wear and fatigue applications. The award is given to the works of special importance in the field of metals, as published in one the Institute's 18 journals.
The article summarizes the results obtained in a European research project, NANOBAIN, about the newly developed bainitic steels with very fine grain size and their potential for future use in wear and abrasion exposed components. Two of the components tested in the project were injection parts for diesel engines and chipper knives for large scrap presses.
– Nanobainitic steels have very high strength in comparison with conventional steel and in comparison with other high performance steels they have very good toughness. Nanobainitic steel has a very fine grain structure and contains ferrite and austenite which are not brittle in comparison to traditional high performance steels that usually have martensite and/or carbides, says Esa Vuorinen, Senior Lecturer at the research subject Engineering Materials at Luleå University of Technology.
– What is special with this steel is the heat treatment and for a long time we have had steel that can be heat treated so that the bainitic structure is obtained. The heat treatment is more complicated to the traditional manufacturing of steel, but the cost does not have to be higher to get the superior properties, says Esa Vuorinen.
The research was conducted at the Centre for High Performance Steel at Luleå University of Technology, where the research subjects Engineering Materials, Solid Mechanics and Machine Elements also participated in the project. Also five companies from Finland, Germany, France and Spain, as well as a research institute from Spain participated in the work that led to an interesting development in the field of high performance steel.