Steel has high tensile strength because its atoms are packed together tightly, and carbon elements stand between them. The unique characteristics limit their freedom of movement and make it harder to pull apart. However, steel is not strong enough to withstand bullets like Kevlar and nylon; therefore, it is essential to learn how to improve the tensile strength of steel.
A lot of research has been conducted to explore various ways of enhancing the tensile strength of steel. Nova documentary has compiled a scientific discovery on the same, where practical examples are examined to form conclusive results.
The study will benefit experts who aim to produce durable steel to be used in the manufacturing industry.
Keywords: Tensile strength
Making Stuff Stronger
Steel has high tensile strength because its atoms are packed together closely, and carbon elements stand between them. It has been used in aircraft, construction, and motor vehicle industries for a long time due to its incredible tensile strength. In the aircraft sector, the steel is used to make stiff and robust landing gears that counter-attack the momentum of planes during the touchdown. The breaking point of the wires is around 25,000 pounds; thus, it can stop four aircrafts concurrently. Steel is also used in manufacturing high-end motor vehicles, and its properties help in reducing damages and injuries in case of accidents. However, regardless of its incredible features, it cannot be used as a bulletproof since it has a thin atom that allows the bullets to tear the steel easily. Kevlar is a polymer that contains a long repeating chain of atoms: hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, and nitrogen. The elements combine to create a strong thread fiber, which quickly absorbs the impact of a bullet. Therefore, like Kevlar, the tensile strength of steel should be strong enough to prevent accidents.
Improving the tensile strength and flexibility of steel can be achieved by carbon to the iron atoms. This is achieved by combining 99 percent of iron and a small amount of carbon. The process involves melting the steel scrap materials, refining them, and removing its impurities. Notably, the procedure generates the properties needed to form steel. When the mixture reaches 3,000oC, the liquid metal moves from to the top of the furnace and creates stiff steel. Besides, carbon nanotubes can be manufactured in laboratories using a smooth surface that acts as a catalyst, some gases containing carbon atoms, and a furnace. The mixture is heated to15000C to produce a strong nanotube. Notably, these procedures make atoms stronger and flexible.
After cooling the steel, engineers conduct a simple test to determine if it has the right amount of tensile strength. The strength is measured by how much force the steel can withstand; hence, the more energy it can endure, the higher the tensile strength. Carbon nanotubes get their power from a strong bond between carbon atoms.
Mother Nature has been engineering strength in the animals’ bodies by inducing them with atoms slowly. For instance, although a toucan beak is very fragile, it has a high tensile strength, which acts as a defensive tool. Besides, abalones have evolved to have a tough shell used to shield them from predators. Therefore, these discoveries might enable engineers to build non-breakable ceramics and concretes from atoms generated from animals in the future.
High tensile strength of steel ensures the safe landing of aircrafts and reduces the vehicle’s impact in case of an accident. The steel absorbs the energy of collision since the amount of carbon in it is low enough to let the atoms move a little and bend while remaining intact. Nanotubes are robust, which makes them ideal for improving both electrical and thermal conductivity. Markedly, scientists can make stuff stronger through research and development.
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