I looked at my chainring from time to time and i could see that is wearing out a bit too fast. I searched the market for a new one and see that is somehow a bit pricey (I mean I ride a 1989 steel bike all original, all dura-ace, and a proper chainring costs half of the price I paid for the bike).
I made a good use for a laser cutter I got at work, and made myself a chainring (a steel one).
The real question.. why most of them are aluminum? Aluminum chainrings and steel chain wears a lot faster, also titanium cogs on some cassettes.
I see steel chainrings only on very low grade stuff. (and not sold seperatly, and not that i would want one of those, I made one from a steel plate 4mm thick, and some beveling on a lathe, but that's another story). The weight issue is almost non-existing, steel can be much thinner than Al. Yet for weight weenies I understand, but the normal way should be steel and the niche class should be Al-Ti-Mg-Carbon fiber stuff - stuff that the main advantage is weight (density to be specific) and the rest are disadvantages (especially price for Ti and carbon stuff)
Is there any argumentation on using improper materials? (Al chainrings, Ti-cogs, Ti-chains, anodized Al for rims, etc)
I guess there are some B-class engineers at work in the bike department... The A-class is into aviation/automotive.