09:55 AM

Ohio State researchers have invented a way to weld “un-weldable” metals—Ask the lead engineer anything!

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Technology for welding steel to aluminum has been on automakers’ wish list for years, and engineers at The Ohio State University have come up with an affordable and energy-efficient way of making that wish a reality.

Glenn Daehn

Glenn Daehn, professor of materials science and engineering, and his team have invented a technique that welds aluminum to steel using 80 percent less energy than a typical welding system, while creating bonds that are 50 percent stronger. Seen under a microscope, the bonds often feature delicate curlicues where veins of both materials extend outward and wrap around each other.

How does it work? What would have to happen before this technique could find its way to the factory floor? And what’s with the curlicues? Now’s your chance to find out the answers to these and any other questions you may have—or just participate in a discussion about technology and the future of American manufacturing innovation.

On Monday, Nov. 9, Daehn will participate in a live online Q&A session on the social media site reddit. Go to the reddit science AMA page on Monday morning to submit your questions, and tune in at 1 p.m. ET to see the answers and join the discussion.