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Concept: Steel


Noroviruses (family Caliciviridae) are the primary cause of viral gastroenteritis worldwide. The virus is highly infectious and touching contaminated surfaces can contribute to infection spread. Although the virus was identified over 40 years ago the lack of methods to assess infectivity has hampered the study of the human pathogen. Recently the murine virus, MNV-1, has successfully been used as a close surrogate. Copper alloys have previously been shown to be effective antimicrobial surfaces against a range of bacteria and fungi. We now report rapid inactivation of murine norovirus on alloys, containing over 60% copper, at room temperature but no reduction of infectivity on stainless steel dry surfaces in simulated wet fomite and dry touch contamination. The rate of inactivation was initially very rapid and proportional to copper content of alloy tested. Viral inactivation was not as rapid on brass as previously observed for bacteria but copper-nickel alloy was very effective. The use of chelators and quenchers of reactive oxygen species (ROS) determined that Cu(II) and especially Cu(I) ions are still the primary effectors of toxicity but quenching superoxide and hydroxyl radicals did not confer protection. This suggests Fenton generation of ROS is not important for the inactivation mechanism. One of the targets of copper toxicity was the viral genome and a reduced copy number of the gene for a viral encoded protein, VPg (viral-protein-genome-linked), which is essential for infectivity, was observed following contact with copper and brass dry surfaces. The use of antimicrobial surfaces containing copper in high risk closed environments such as cruise ships and care facilities could help to reduce the spread of this highly infectious and costly pathogen.

Concepts: Virus, Zinc, Copper, Bronze, Steel, Gastroenteritis, Norovirus, Brass


Understanding radiation responses of Fe-based metals is essential to develop radiation tolerant steels for longer and safer life cycles in harsh reactor environments. Nanograined metals have been explored as self-healing materials due to point-defect recombination at grain boundaries. The fundamental defect-boundary interactions, however, are not yet well understood. We discover that the interactions are always mediated by formation and annealing of chain-like defects, which consist of alternately positioned interstitials and vacancies. These chain-like defects are closely correlated to the patterns of defect formation energy minima on the grain boundary, which depend on specific boundary configurations. Through chain-like defects, a point defect effectively translates large distances, to annihilate with its opposite, thus grain boundaries act as highly efficient defect sinks that cannot saturate under extreme radiation conditions.

Concepts: Electron, Materials science, Metallurgy, Steel, Crystallographic defect, Gamma ray


PURPOSE: To compare the biomechanical and technical properties of flexor tendon repairs using a 4-strand cruciate FiberWire (FW) repair and a 2-strand multifilament stainless steel (MFSS) single cross-lock cable-crimp system. METHODS: Eight tests were conducted for each type of repair using cadaver hand flexor digitorum profundus tendons. We measured the required surgical exposure, repair time, and force of flexion (friction) with a custom motor system with an inline load cell and measured ultimate tensile strength (UTS) and 2-mm gap force on a servo-hydraulic testing machine. RESULTS: Repair time averaged less than 7 minutes for the 2-strand MFSS cable crimp repairs and 12 minutes for the FW repairs. The FW repair was performed with 2 cm of exposure and removal of the C-1 and A-3 pulleys. The C-1 and A-3 pulleys were retained in each of the MFSS cable crimp repairs with less than 1 cm of exposure. Following the FW repair, the average increase in friction was 89% compared with an average of 53% for the MFSS repairs. Six of the 8 MFSS specimens achieved the UTS before any gap had occurred, whereas all of the FW repairs had more than 2 mm of gap before the UTS, indicating that the MFSS was a stiffer repair. The average UTS appeared similar for both groups. CONCLUSIONS: We describe a 2-strand multifilament stainless steel single cross-lock cable crimp flexor repair system. In our studies of this cable crimp system, we found that surgical exposure, average repair times, and friction were reduced compared to the traditional 4-strand cruciate FW repair. While demonstrating these benefits, the crimp repair also produced a stiff construct and high UTS and 2-mm gap force. CLINICAL RELEVANCE: A cable crimp flexor tendon repair may offer an attractive alternative to current repair methods. The benefits may be important especially for flexor tendon repair in zone 2 or for the repair of multiple tendons.

Concepts: Knee, Force, Tensile strength, Steel, Titanium, Strength of materials, Flexor digitorum profundus muscle, Stainless steel


For more than one century, hydrogen assisted degradation of metallic microstructures has been identified as origin for severe technical component failures but the mechanisms behind have not yet been completely understood so far. Any in-situ observation of hydrogen transport phenomena in microstructures will provide more details for further elucidation of these degradation mechanisms. A novel experiment is presented which is designed to elucidate the permeation behaviour of deuterium in a microstructure of duplex stainless steel (DSS). A hydrogen permeation cell within a TOF-SIMS instrument enables electrochemical charging with deuterium through the inner surface of the cell made from DSS. The outer surface of the DSS permeation cell exposed to the vacuum has been imaged by TOF-SIMS vs. increasing time of charging with subsequent chemometric treatment of image data. This in-situ experiment showed evidently that deuterium is permeating much faster through the ferrite phase than through the austenite phase. Moreover, a direct proof for deuterium enrichment at the austenite-ferrite interface has been found.

Concepts: Iron, Metallurgy, Steel, Austenite, Stainless steel, Nickel, Corrosion, Microstructure


The search for new hard materials is often challenging, but strongly motivated by the vast application potential such materials hold. Ti3Au exhibits high hardness values (about four times those of pure Ti and most steel alloys), reduced coefficient of friction and wear rates, and biocompatibility, all of which are optimal traits for orthopedic, dental, and prosthetic applications. In addition, the ability of this compound to adhere to ceramic parts can reduce both the weight and the cost of medical components. The fourfold increase in the hardness of Ti3Au compared to other Ti-Au alloys and compounds can be attributed to the elevated valence electron density, the reduced bond length, and the pseudogap formation. Understanding the origin of hardness in this intermetallic compound provides an avenue toward designing superior biocompatible, hard materials.

Concepts: Electron, Chemical bond, Materials science, Alloy, Intermetallics, Steel, Friction, Hardness


Bacterial adhesion to stainless steel 316L (SS316L), which is an alloy typically used in many medical devices and food processing equipment, can cause serious infections along with substantial healthcare costs. This work demonstrates that nanotextured SS316L surfaces produced by electrochemical etching effectively inhibit bacterial adhesion of both Gram-negative Escherichia coli and Gram-positive Staphylococcus aureus, but exhibit cytocompatibility and no toxicity toward mammalian cells in vitro. Additionally, the electrochemical surface modification on SS316L results in formation of superior passive layer at the surface, improving corrosion resistance. The nanotextured SS316L offers significant potential for medical applications based on the surface structure-induced reduction of bacterial adhesion without use of antibiotic or chemical modifications while providing cytocompatibility and corrosion resistance in physiological conditions.

Concepts: Bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Antibiotic resistance, Escherichia coli, Steel, Stainless steel, Passivation, Corrosion


A wide variety of industrial applications require materials with high strength and ductility. Unfortunately, the strategies for increasing material strength, such as processing to create line defects (dislocations), tend to decrease ductility. We developed a strategy to circumvent this in inexpensive, medium Mn steel. Cold rolling followed by low-temperature tempering developed steel with metastable austenite grains embedded in a highly dislocated martensite matrix. This deformed and partitioned (D&P) process produced dislocation hardening, but retained high ductility both through the glide of intensive mobile dislocations and by allowing us to control martensitic transformation. The D&P strategy should apply to any other alloy with deformation-induced martensitic transformation and provides a pathway for development of high strength, high ductility materials.

Concepts: Tensile strength, Steel, Austenite, Crystallographic defect, Work hardening, Martensite, Cementite, Tempering


Toxicological studies show that oral doses of nickel and chromium can cause cutaneous adverse reactions such as dermatitis. Additional dietary sources, such as leaching from stainless steel cookware during food preparation, are not well characterized. This study examined stainless steel grades, cooking time, repetitive cooking cycles, and multiple types of tomato sauces for their effects on nickel and chromium leaching. Trials included three types of stainless steels and a stainless steel saucepan; cooking times of 2 to 20 hours, ten consecutive cooking cycles, and four commercial tomato sauces. After a simulated cooking process, samples were analyzed by ICP-MS for Ni and Cr. After six hours of cooking, Ni and Cr concentrations in tomato sauce increased up to 26- and 7-fold respectively, depending on the grade of stainless steel. Longer cooking durations resulted in additional increases in metal leaching, where Ni concentrations increased 34 fold and Cr increased approximately 35 fold from sauces cooked without stainless steel. Cooking with new stainless steel resulted in the largest increases. Metal leaching decreases with sequential cooking cycles and stabilized after the sixth cooking cycle, though significant metal contributions to foods were still observed. The tenth cooking cycle, resulted in an average of 88 µg of Ni and 86 µg of Cr leached per 126 g serving of tomato sauce. Stainless steel cookware can be an overlooked significant source of nickel and chromium, where the contribution is dependent on stainless steel grade, cooking time, and cookware usage.

Concepts: Steel, Titanium, Stainless steel, Chromium, Nickel, Corrosion, Sauce, Steels


Ag core MP35N (Ag/MP35N) wire has been used in lead electric conductor wires in the medical device industry for many years. Recently it was noticed that the combination of silver and MP35N restricts its wire drawing process. The annealing temperature in Ag/MP35N has to be lower than the melting temperature of pure Ag (960°C), which cannot fully anneal MP35N. The lower annealing temperature results in a highly cold worked MP35N, which significantly reduces Ag/MP35N ductility. The embrittlement phenomenon of Ag/MP35N cable was observed in tension and bending deformation. The effect of the embrittlement on the wire flex fatigue life was evaluated using a newly developed flex fatigue testing method. The Ag/MP35N cable fatigue results was analyzed with a Coffin-Manson approach and compared to the MP35N cable fatigue results. The root causes of the Ag/Mp35N embrittlement phenomenon are discussed.

Concepts: Copper, Silver, Steel, Wire, Cable, Ductility, Wire drawing


To calculate the shear stress needed to remove sessile Listeria monocytogenes cells from stainless steel (SS) and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) surfaces.

Concepts: Molybdenum, Force, Steel, Austenite, Listeria monocytogenes, Stainless steel, Corrosion, Cutlery