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Thread: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

  1. #1
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    Default An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    this is the beginning of an article titled "Glassy Metal" i found in my April 2004 issue of Discover magazine written by Brad Lemley.. i cannot find a link to the full article, i'm sorry.. it goes on for 5 pages, however, it begins like this:

    [ QUOTE ]
    The wispy metal strip in my hands is 8 inches long, 1 inch wide, and as thin as aluminum foil.
    "Try to tear it," says William Johnson, a materials science professor at Caltech in Pasadena.
    I pull--first gently, but soon with all my might. No go.
    "See if you can cut this," suggests Johnson's postgraduate assistant Jason Kang, handing me a mirror-bright piece of the same metal. It's an inch long, a quarter inch wide, and thinner than a dime. I bear down with a heavy-duty pair of wire cutters. The metal will not cut. I try again, this time squeezing with both hands until my fingers ache. Nothing.
    But the most amazing act in this show is yet to come.
    "Watch," says Johnson. From a height of about two feet, he drops a steel ball onto a brick-size chunk of the metal. The ball bounces so high and for so long--1 minute and 17 seconds, with a metronomic tick, tick, tick--that it looks unreal, like some kind of cinematic special effect. "When you try that with regular steel, it goes 'clunk, clunk, clunk' and stops," says Johnson. If the metal were glued to an unyielding surface such as concrete (instead of sitting on Johnson's oak cofee table, which absorbs a lot of the energy), "the ball would bounce for more than two minutes," he says. "I've done it."
    It's all astounding, yet oddly familiar. In the typical science fiction film circa 1950, there's that scene in which scientists return from the just-landed flying saucer and tell the Army brass that no tool known to humankind can cut, burn, bend, or otherwise scar the hull. But the metal in front of me is decidedly terrestrial in origin--it was developed in Pasadena, specifically in the lab down the hall from Johnson's office.
    It is called metallic glass, or amorphous metal, and it appears to be nothing less than an entirely new class of material that can be used to build lighter, stronger versions of anything. "Everything from an Abrams tank to an F-16 jet to a bicycle can be made out of this, and because it is two to three times the strength of conventional alloys, you can halve the weight or more. That's not evolutionary, that's revolutionary," says Johnson. "This is the structural material of the future."
    Strength is not its only virture. It can also be formed like plastic. So instead of laboriously making sheet metal and then cutting, machining, and drilling, say, a car fender, all of which weakens the part, a glassy metal fender could be injection-molded in one piece--a breakthrough.
    "The idea that you can cast something like a plastic part with a very high strength is a completely new development," says materials science professor William Nix of Stanford University, an adviser to Liquidmetal Technologies, which is trying to commercialize the metal.
    Better yet, it can be readily made into a foam. "With most metals that's difficult, because the bubbles want to rise to the surface of the molten metal," says Johnson. The fact that amorphous metal is thick and like plastic when molten permits the formation of a foam panel that is 99 percent air but roughly 100 times stronger than polystyrene. A sandwich made of two thin sheets of amorphous metal flanking amorphous foam would be strong, light, insulating, fireproof, bug-proof, rustproof, sound dampening, and difficult to penetrate with bombs. Such panels could form buildings, ship hulls, airplanes, and car bodies.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    however, it also says:
    [ QUOTE ]
    But metallic glass has one huge problem--it's expensive. The first commercialized injection-moldable form costs about $15 a pound to make versus roughly $1 a pound for aluminum and 25 cents a pound for steel.

    [/ QUOTE ]

    so there's part of the first page of the article and another excerpt from the first page i thought i'd share so you'd all know the cost.

    this is just amazing!

  2. #2
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    Kiessling's Avatar
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    wow!
    if it is true this will be the big winner of the future!
    did they say anything about thermal conductivity [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] ?
    bernhard

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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    sorry Kiessling, but nowhere in the entire article does it discuss its thermal properties..

    wouldn't they have to be decent to be used in a jet tho?

    the things they actually show made from the amorphous metal are a golf driver head, a watch case, something that looks like braces, a pipe, a cell phone case and a folding knife..

    altho after scanning the article it says:

    [ QUOTE ]
    "The economizer tubes on our coal-fired boilers were corroding and popping every six months," says John Berg, maintenance director for Cogentrix Energy, headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina. But after spray-coating the tube interiors with Liquidmetal in 1992, "it's still there, and we've had virtually no leaks at all."

    [/ QUOTE ]

    now i dunno if that's any hint to its thermal properties, but it's the only thing i could find that might be reflective of them.

    that was with an early version of it in '92.. it's much more refined now according to the article.. they've come out with "Liquid Metal 2".

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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    There was a long post on this material a while back. Search "Liquid metal." I tried to link it and the preview came up fine. I clk'd "post" and got the big ugly so deleted it. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/icon3.gif[/img]

    Larry

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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    ahh thanks Larry, i found it.

    here's V8's post about it from September 2003.

    V8's post on LIQUID METAL

    since then, they've developed their "Liquid Metal 2" but it's pretty much an improved version of what V8 links to in his original post.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    Thanx BBTL,

    Haven't a clue what went wrong.

    Larry

  7. #7
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    here's my trick Larry.
    when you find a thread thru a search and try to copy the link, the link comes up with all the search information mumbo jumbo breaking the actual link up.

    so what i do is add it to my favorite threads and go to "My Home" and go to the thread thru there to link it.

    i dunno why the search links don't work, but i have the same problem.

  8. #8
    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    i believe this (or something like it, i recall the name liquidmetal) was discussed on knife forums, and worked well for a knife, but didn't perform as well as a high-quality steel. (this is from memory, and you all know how bad my memory is...(at least i hope you do, because i can't remember...))

    if this is the same stuff, then the thermal properties would make it unsuitable for luxeon flashlights if i recall correctly [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] (poor thermal transmission)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    I think one of the first commercial products was a golf driver. I seem to remember that Liquid Metal brand.

  10. #10
    *Flashaholic* bwaites's Avatar
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    Liquid Metal Golf products still exists, but they are not made from this material to the best of my knowledge. (But I wish they were!!)

    Though I was most familiar with their Driver, which is Titanium. In reviewing their other clubs, they do claim that they are a new alloy which transfers energy better, so maybe they are made of one of the older variants.

    Bill


  11. #11
    Flashaholic BF Hammer's Avatar
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    Amorphous silicon has been used in laser printers and photocopiers for over 5 years now. It's a different substance than that of the the article, but a similar idea. It's used for the photoconductor drum and is much harder and tougher than the metallic and organic photoconductor drums. Hard enough to last 2.5 million prints versus maybe 800 thousand prints using one of the harder metallic drum compounds. Pretty neat stuff IMO.

  12. #12
    Flashaholic* Wits' End's Avatar
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    Here is some interesting info.
    above top secret.com Some interesting links.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: An amorphous metal/metal polymer!!!

    ahh thank you. there's tons of links and research going on over there!

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