The Big Elk, by Norwegian artist Linda Bakke

Strange but true…

Occasionally the editorial team at Stainless Steel World comes across a use for stainless steel that is a little obscure but nonetheless interesting. Having come across several examples recently, we thought we’d bundle them together for your education and reading pleasure…
^ This amazing sculpture - the world’s largest of an elk - is made from highly polished 316 stainless steel. Photo by Jan-Olof Nilsson

By Joanne McIntyre, Stainless Steel World
Super-hard titanium gold alloy
While titanium (Ti) is widely used in the medial sector for implants, pure Ti is not strong enough for a number of medical devices. Although hardness can be improved by alloying Ti with another element, care must be taken to preserve biocompatibility. Science Advances has reported that a group of scientists have discovered that an alloy made up of 3 parts titanium and one part gold (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 can be attributed to the elevated valence electron density, 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. The discovery was something of an accident. The team had made several alloys as part of a separate project, after which they were to grind them to a powder to study with an X-ray. “When we tried to grind up titanium-gold, we couldn’t,” said Emilia Morosan, a professor at Rice University and study co-author.

Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo
The Mok Mok Wak Wak Yokohama Yo Yo Sculpture is located near Landmark Tower and Queens Tower A, in Yokohama, Japan. The massive stainless steel sculpture with soaring curves is one of the best known public art works in Japan. It was created by the artist Hisayuki Mogami.

Have you seen the Big Elk?
The Big Elk, which was designed by Norwegian artist Linda Bakke, stands on the Bjøråa picnic area in Stor-Elvdal municipality midway between Oslo and Trondheim in Norway. Manufactured in China by Dry Art Ltd, the elk stands 10.3 meters high and is 11.5 meters long. 
The main role of the sculpture, apart from its being inherently beautiful, is to attract drivers’ attention and increase road safety. As an important reference point on the road between Oslo and Trondheim, the Elk invites drivers to stop and stretch their legs and rest, thereby combatting fatigue. The Big Elk has also focused attention on the animals and has become a regional symbol. Sparebanken Hedmark art fund provided NOK 2 million (207,000 euros) to produce the sculpture.

Where the force is strong
In the two-and-a-half decades since the collapse of communism, countless Sovietera monuments have been removed from cities and towns across the former Eastern Bloc. In April 2015, Ukraine formally passed a controversial package of “decommunization” laws requiring, among other things, the removal of communist monuments. However, for one particular Lenin statue in Odessa, a Ukrainian artist had other ideas.
Located in an old factory courtyard on the outskirts of the port city, the statue was scheduled for demolition until Alexander Milov — a local artist whose work was featured at Burning Man in 2015 — proposed encasing the existing Lenin statue within a new titanium facade, creating the world’s first monument to Darth Vader.
The pose of the old statue has proven to be strikingly appropriate for the new subject; Lenin’s long coat has become Darth Vader’s flowing cape, and the former Soviet leader’s clenched fist now holds a light saber. The plaque reads: ‘Darth, Vader: Father of the nation, from grateful children and stepchildren.’


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