- 93 Downloads
Novel Metals are Moldable Like Plastic
A team led by Jan Schroers, a materials scientist at Yale University, has illustrated that some recently developed bulk metallic glasses (BMGs)—metal alloys with randomly arranged atoms (as opposed to the orderly crystalline structure found in ordinary metals)—can be blow molded like plastics into complex shapes that can’t be achieved using regular metal, yet without sacrificing the strength or durability that metal affords. “These alloys look like ordinary metal but can be blow molded just as cheaply and as easily as plastic,” Schroers said. So far the team has created a number of complex shapes—including seamless metallic bottles, watch cases, miniature resonators, and biomedical implants—that can be molded in less than a minute and are twice as strong as typical steel. The materials cost about the same as high-end steel, Schroers said, but can be processed as cheaply as plastic. The alloys are made up of different metals, including zirconium,...