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June 22nd, 2004
Sunbaking to make your car body stronger
CSIRO scientists have discovered a new process which could soon lead to the production of aluminium cars and planes that get stronger the longer they are left to 'bake' in the sun. Dr Roger Lumley of CSIRO Elaborately Transformed Metals (CETM) says the new process involves curing, or age-hardening, aluminium to a point where the curing process can be completed by exposure to sunlight rather than in a furnace. "What you end up with in the new process is a finer structure, engineered at the nano-scale, in a way that translates into mechanical property improvements," he says.
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