Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

New metals are moldable like plastic
by Staff Writers
New Haven, Conn. (UPI) Mar 1, 2011

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only

New forms of metal can be turned into complex shapes easily and inexpensively like plastic but retain the metals' strength and durability, U.S. researchers say.

Materials scientists as Yale University say some recently developed bulk metallic glasses -- alloys with randomly arranged atoms rather than ordinary metals' rigid, orderly structure -- can be blow molded like plastics into complex shapes that can't be achieved using regular metal but without sacrificing any of the metals' characteristic strength.

"These alloys look like ordinary metal but can be blow molded just as cheaply and as easily as plastic," says Yale scientists Jan Schroers, whose team has created a number of complex shapes including seamless metallic bottles, watch cases, miniature resonators and biomedical implants, molded in less than a minute and twice as strong as typical steel, a Yale release reported.

The alloys -- made up of different metals, including zirconium, nickel, titanium and copper -- cost about the same as high-end steel, Schroers says, but can be processed as cheaply as plastic.

The team blow molded the alloys at low temperatures and low pressures, where the bulk metallic glass softens dramatically and flows as easily as plastic.

In order to carefully control and maintain the ideal temperature for blow molding, the team shaped the alloys in a vacuum or in fluid.

"The trick is to avoid friction typically present in other forming techniques," Schroers says. "Blow molding completely eliminates friction, allowing us to create any number of complicated shapes."

In addition, the researchers say, blow molding combines three separate steps in traditional metal processing -- shaping, joining and finishing -- into one step, making previously cumbersome, time- and energy-intensive processing quick and easy.

"This could enable a whole new paradigm for shaping metals," Schroers says.


Related Links
Space Technology News - Applications and Research

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Out Of Thin Air
Cleveland OH (SPX) Feb 24, 2011
Imagine a priceless painting that has been all but ruined by a ravaging storage room fire. The beautiful paint, painstakingly applied in a multitude of colors, is obscured by layers of dark soot. A masterpiece appears to be irrevocably destroyed. But all is not lost. The painting is placed in a vacuum chamber and an invisible, powerful substance called atomic oxygen is created inside the c ... read more

The Great Moonbuggy Race

Venus And Crescent Moon Pair Up At Dawn

84 Student Teams Set to Roll At 18th Annual NASA Great Moonbuggy Race

Google Lunar X Prize Roster Reaches 29 Teams

Russia To Probe Major Planets Before 2023

Advanced NASA Instrument Gets Close-up On Mars Rocks

Good Health Report After Hiatus In Communications

Experiment volunteers take 2nd 'walk on Mars'

Brazil, U.S. IT majors in joint venture

Space Elevator: Science Fact Or Science Fiction

XCOR Announces Global Network

Aspiring Students Shoot For The Stars

China Mars probe set for November launch

Shenzhou 8 Mission Could Top Three Weeks

U.S. wary of China space weapons

Slow progress in U.S.-China space efforts

Robotic arm breakdown adds spacewalk drama

Russia cancels space lab flyabout

Boiling Bubbles Are Cool In Space

US astronauts start spacewalk at orbiting lab

NASA Assessing New Launch Dates For The Glory Mission

Successful Launch Of REXUS 9

24 hour delay for launch of NASA satellite

SpaceX to focus on astronaut capsule

Planet Formation In Action

'Missing' element gives planet birth clues

'Wandering' planets may have water, life

Back To The Roots Of The Solar System

New metals are moldable like plastic

Dell plans China expansion: state media

Xoom sales 'off to good start': Motorola CEO

Videogame makers seek footing on shifting landscape

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement