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Detroit DIYer cooks up stronger, lighter steel, shames scientists

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You'd be forgiven for dismissing an amateur metallurgist if he claimed to have improved upon the presumably perfected technology of steel making. But Flash Bainite, the creation of Detroit entrepreneur Gary Cola, wowed a team of Ohio State University engineers by turning centuries of alloy processing on its head. Instead of heating the metal for hours or days, this well-equipped DIYer boosted the temperature -- quickly baking, then cooling sheets of steel that are 7-percent stronger than other forms and tougher than some titanium alloys. Flash Bainite is also more ductile than other steels, allowing it to crumple more before breaking -- perfect for absorbing impacts. Obviously this means stronger and lighter cars, laptops, and armored vehicles but, since the process takes all of about 10 seconds, it's also more energy efficient and cheaper than traditional steel making. Now, who has the number for the Nobel Prize committee?

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