Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) are creating the next generation of ‘metallic glass’, ultra-strong yet ultra-flexible materials. The team has created a instruction manual detailing which metal alloys will best form ‘metallic glass’, hoping that forming these materials will be easier and cheaper in the future.
While still being a metal, metallic glass becomes as flexible as chewing gum when heated and can be easily moulded like glass, yet can still remain the toughest materials known. Metallic glass proves to be three times stronger and harder than ordinary metals, on average.
There are already types of metallic glass including ones based on palladium, magnesium, titanium or copper. However, discovering new alloy compositions that form metallic glass requires a lengthy process of trial and error. Dr Kevin Laws and his research team at UNSW believe in their model, which allows scientists to predict which metal combinations will have glass-forming ability.
Metallic glass has only been used in producing niche products such as ejector pins for smartphones, trial medical implants, tennis racquets and golf clubs. Wider applications include exceptionally strong components in personal electronic devices and hydrogen storage materials in next generation batteries.
[img source] The University of New South Wales
The above story is based on materials provided by the University of New South Wales