Enhancing steel properties through in situ formation of ultra hard chemically-bonded ceramic surface

Sustainable_Manufacturing_0_1[1]_3

Working in collaboration with Molycop we have demonstrated a new low-cost process for enhancing the properties of normal carbon steel using a problematic waste, automotive shredder residue (ASR). ASR generally consists of a mix of materials such as plastic, rubber, wood, fabric, non-ferrous metals, leather, glass, paper, textiles and contaminants/dirt. Dumping these materials ignores the potential of ASR as a source of important elements, particularly carbon, nitrogen, silicon, aluminium and titanium. While these elements are useful for many applications, the specific focus of our study was their potential for forming a ceramic surface on steel, in situ; the first such single step process we know of. Nano-indentation and compression-strength measurements clearly showed this multi-layer chemically bonded ceramic surface increases the hardness and mechanical strength of normal carbon steel.
 
Impact/Significance: The significance of this work is multi-fold:
·      Cost-effectives means of enhancing the properties of normal carbon steel
·      Promises to minimise the costs of product/component failures and/or short replacement cycles
·      Promises to reduce resources costs to industries and demands on raw materials
·      In situ process cheaper than conventional ceramic coating processes
·      Bonded surface superior to coatings
·      Address serious global challenge of ASR – 100-200kg of this non-recyclable waste generate for every vehicle decommissioned.

Links for downloading the paper:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1044580316312621
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301479716309719
http://www.jmaterenvironsci.com/Document/vol8/vol8_N5/170-JMES-2676-Gorjizadeh.pdf
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep38740
https://www.nature.com/articles/srep34958
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167577X16305456
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0165237016301188
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956053X16300514
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167577X1530731X