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A Seattle-based startup claims the ability to increase the strength of steel by tenfold. Through this inexpensive feat of engineering, many purposes could potentially be served.
Nanotechnology is a frightening word to many people who’ve heard the word mentioned in possible apocalyptic scenarios by doomsayers. It’s not all bad. Nanotech is already alive and well in many industries, and a company called Modumetal has invented a new process of engineering many metals, including steel. Several oil companies (Chevron, Hess, and Conoco-Philips) have jumped on board with investment money. These companies are field-testing these new metals in oil fields and pipelines. The results so far have shown that oil’s corrosive chemicals like hydrogen sulfide are failing to damage the newly constructed metals.
The secret of Modumetal is to engineer metals through an ultra-precise process that includes nanolamination. The metal is also layered (through an advanced form of electroplating) and controlled at the nanolevel, which allows the process to bestow new properties upon the original material. This allows for a stronger metal in relation to how much the material weighs. This process costs the same as other types of metal manufacturing (including galvanization). The final products of the Monumetal process are newly minted alloys that should eventually replace conventional metals. As they say, the possibilities are endless.
Here’s a handy list of benefits to the Modumetal process:
(1) Metals would be more resistant to corrosion and breakage;
(2) Cars could weigh less and use much less fuel during operation;
(3) Bridges and infrastructure would last much longer;
(4) Pipes that transport oil, gas, and other forms of energy would be more efficient and require less repair;
(5) Military grade armor would be stronger and more reliable;
(5) All metals engineered through the process would cost less to construct;
(6) Energy sources could become less expensive;
(7) These new alloys would be manufactured using “green” methods.