People have been manufacturing iron for around 19,000 years – yet its possibilities remain far from exhausted. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Iron Research are therefore developing, among other things, new grades of steel that can make car bodies even safer and give car designers greater freedom. Part of what they do involves cooking up and testing new alloys in a lab, reminiscent of a small steel plant. The scientists also investigate ways of preventing corrosion that makes many metallic tools unusable with time. However, their research is not restricted to iron and steel: it also encompasses new alloys, such as titanium alloys for artificial joints. Furthermore, in their search for such new materials, they also develop methods to simulate the behaviour of unknown alloys on the computer.
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