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New Inexpensive Process Improves Metallic Glass Performance

Technique is similar to that used for plastic heating/molding, yields stronger & tougher metallic glass product.

Posted by  Paul T. O’Connor

Researchers from the California Institute of Technology have come up with a new way to process metallic glass that shows great marketplace potential. reports that the new process uses a technique called ohmic heating, which heats the metallic glass at a rate of a million degrees per second, to 550 degrees C in half a millisecond, which is a thousand times faster than current techniques. metallic glass performanceThe softened product is then molded and cooled, all in a matter of milliseconds.

The process heats, molds and cools the metallic glass so quickly it prevents the product from crystallizing.  Without crystallization, the metallic glass has no vulnerable spots between crystals, thus avoiding the usual pitfalls of fractures and corrosion along crystal boundaries typical of metallic glass.

The finished product also shows signs of improved strength and toughness.

Read the full story in for all the details.

“We’ve taken the economics of plastic manufacturing and applied it to a metal with superior engineering properties,” William Johnson told Johnson is the Ruben F. and Donna Mettler Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech and is the leader of the research team who published their findings in the May issue of the research journal, Science. Johnson went on to say, “We end up with inexpensive, high-performance, precision net-shape parts made in the same way plastic parts are made- but made of a metal that’s 20 times stronger and stiffer than plastic.”

The end result is also more durable than either steel or titanium. The technology and tactics used and related machinery are already sitting on shop floors. The process is familiar to a manufacturer’s workforce as well. This will reduce capitalization for processors and speed the move to the marketplace.

For a list of metals and non-metal material competency  that IMS is capable of handling, read here.

Photo Credit: Marious D. Demetriou.