Every year, 17 million people use the Channel Tunnel, the undersea rail network that connects the United Kingdom with north of France. Considered as one of the Seven Wonders of the modern world, 37.9 km of the 50.5 km-long tunnel passes under the sea. To make sure that each and every part of this sophisticated transport network is as safe as possible, authorities recently opted for a new kind of steel that is used to lay the tracks.
Unlike the earlier version, the new steel doesn't have any carbide and is rich in silicon. In other words, while the new steel is hard and wear-resistant, it is not brittle like the earlier steel, making it much safer. The authorities had tested the new steel for 15 years before clearing it.
For Harry Bhadeshia, who led the team that along with British Steel (that eventually became Corus and later acquired by Tata Steel) invented the steel, this only reiterated his belief that the metal has an "unbelievable variety that remains unseen by the outside world."
This is not the only invention that has come out of the lab of the renowned metallurgy scientist and Tata Steel Professor of Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge in his 40-year research career. ...more
11:15 AM, Feb 28, 2012