Computational Metallurgy Lab
Suh, Dong-woo (Graduate Institute of Ferrous & Energy materials Technology)
As a global society, we are currently living within the expansive window of the Iron Age. As civilizations evolved from the Stone to the Bronze and into the Iron Age, steel has maintained its importance as one of the most basic and irreplaceable building blocks of modern life. In fact, steel accounts for more than 60% of the total weight of automobiles, and virtually all of the technology that serves our daily needs depends upon steel.
The Computational Metallurgy Laboratory headed by Professor Dong Woo Suh at the Graduate Institute of Ferrous & Energy materials Technology, POSTECH, probes into cutting-edge steel materials that pioneer a new Iron Age of the 21st century. One prime example is GIGA STEEL that POSCO successfully mass-produced for the first time in the world. The name GIGA STEEL originates from its exceptional tensile strength of 1 gigapascal (GPa) or higher: a thin single wire made of GIGA STEEL is capable of withstanding weights of 100kg.
The Lab is currently working to enhance the malleability of GIGA STEEL to create components in a variety of shapes while further reinforcing its strength. The research scope of the Lab extends from automobiles to energy (e.g. turbine blades used for power generation) and national defense (e.g. bulletproof armor plates). Work is also underway to develop heat-resistant steel that functions well under high temperature/high pressure conditions.
The research achievements made at the Lab are recognized across the globe. Professor Dong Woo Suh’s paper was ranked third on the list of the Most Cited Articles since 2017 at the ‘Scripta Materialia’, a world-acclaimed journal in the materials field. Furthermore, professor Suh has presented a new alloy design concept to support the commercial production of TRIP (transformation induced plasticity) steel, a type of GIGA STEEL, and is engaged in wide-ranging research activities intended to commercialize novel steel materials.
The close industry-academia collaboration between the Computational Metallurgy Lab and POSCO has aided in the development of a broad array of steel products for more than 10 years and counting. This partnership has also helped in the development of exceptional talent. Jae Hoon Jang, who completed his PhD course at the Lab and is currently working at the Korea Institute of Materials Science, became Asia’s first to receive the Acta Student Award for his research on the impacts of nano precipitates on ultra-high-strength steel.
While steel has held its place in civilization for more than 3 millennia, it continues to fulfill its role as an essential material in our modern industrial society. In the face of the emergence of trendy and fancy new materials, steel has constantly adapted to navigate the modern currents of popular demand and has served as a constant and needed backbone from which our everyday lives are built upon. Professor Suh commented “Even the Lab researchers resemble steel in that they are committed to generating outcomes that meet the most fundamental needs, despite the fact that it does not necessarily put them in the spotlight,”.
Head of Lab
Graduate Institute of Ferrous & Energy materials Technology 229