Metallic materials which have enabled progress over thousands of years and are produced in huge quantities (e.g. 1.8 billion tons of steels per year), are now facing severe and in part abrupt limits set by sustainability constraints and the associated legislative measures. Accelerated demand for structural alloys in key areas such as energy, construction, infrastructure, safety, mobile communication and transportation creates growth rates of up to 200% until 2050. Yet, most of these materials are energy, greenhouse gas and pollution intense when extracted, produced and manufactured. The lecture provides an introduction to this field and reviews approaches to improve the sustainability of and through structural metallic alloys. It reports about progress in direct sustainability for different steps along the value chain including CO2
-reduced primary production; recycling; scrap-compatible alloy design; contaminant tolerance of alloys; and improved alloy longevity through corrosion protection, damage tolerance and repairability for longer product use. It is also shown how structural materials enable improved energy efficiency through reduced weight, higher thermal stability, and better mechanical properties. The respective leverage effects of the individual measures on rendering structural alloys more sustainable are described.