In general, work hardening is the strengthening of a material or polymer by plastic deformation. This strengthening happens because of dislocation movements and dislocation generation inside the crystal structure of the material.
When it comes to work hardening steel, which is also known as strain hardening steel or cold worked steel, this refers to a type of steel that becomes stronger and tougher through mechanical deformation rather than heat treatment.
The process of making steel has historically resulted in very high emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Every tonne of steel produces 1.8 tonnes of CO2, representing 9% of worldwide green-house gas emissions.
The good news is that over the years, we have made a lot of progress when it comes to the development and sustainability of material science. For example, if the Eiffel Tower was built today, it would only require 25% of the steel used for its original construction back in 1887.
We need to continue developing better ways to produce important metals such as steel for wear resistant plates and to better manage the materials that already exist today.