Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Business Impact

Green Steel

Cars may soon be filling up with unleaded parts, thanks to a new form of steel developed at the University of Pittsburgh. Manufacturers use lead-containing steel to make many automotive and other parts-the soft lead makes the alloy easier to machine, but it’s also toxic. So Pittsburgh researchers set out to find an environmentally friendly alternative.

Materials science professors Anthony J. DeArdo and C. Isaac Garcia examined the lead’s behavior at the molecular level. This insight helped them determine how tin could be used instead. The tin-containing steel can be machined at least as easily as the leaded alloy, says Bob Squier, president of Buffalo-based manufacturer Curtis Screw. In early manufacturing runs, says Squier, “It looks like it’s doing the job.” Squier’s company is part of an international consortium organized to commercialize the new steel, and has already received an order from Ford for parts made of the alloy.

More from Business Impact

How technology advances are changing the economy and providing new opportunities in many industries.

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Print + All Access Digital.
  • Print + All Access Digital {! insider.prices.print_digital !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    The best of MIT Technology Review in print and online, plus unlimited access to our online archive, an ad-free web experience, discounts to MIT Technology Review events, and The Download delivered to your email in-box each weekday.

    See details+

    12-month subscription

    Unlimited access to all our daily online news and feature stories

    6 bi-monthly issues of print + digital magazine

    10% discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Access to entire PDF magazine archive dating back to 1899

    Ad-free website experience

    The Download: newsletter delivered daily

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.