Everything you thought you knewabout metal forming and the like just got thrown out the window. We can now blow mold metal structures at lowtemperatures in seconds.
The pictures already show us awide range of capability and certainly compares directly to plastic forming. Since the material is also amorphous, I suspectthat surface oxidation is not too much of an issue even.
These products will have amaterial cost that is equivalent to high quality steel but a negligiblefabrication cost. The overall resultwill be a leap in wear ability for blown plastic like products in exchange fora small increase in cost and well within the expectation envelope.
They will be used across all aspectsof manufacturing because they allow weight to be removed and strength to beretained.
We have now seen a fabricationtechnology that can be applied to the manufacture of the Magnetic FieldExclusion Vessel which is better known as an UFO. This was strongly indicated but neverconfirmed or understood. Now we canreplicate exactly what we have seen.
New material combines the strength of steel and the moldability ofplastic
00:36 March 1, 2011
Jan Schroers and his team have developed novel metal alloys that can beblow molded into virtually any shape
Scientists at Yale University have done what materials scientistshave been trying to do for decades – create a material that boasts the look,strength and durability of metal that can be molded into complex shapes assimply and cheaply as plastic. The scientists say the development could havethe same impact on society as the development of synthetic plastics lastcentury and they have already used the novel metals to create complex shapes,such as metallic bottles, watch cases, miniature resonators and biomedicalimplants, that are twice as strong as typical steel and can be molded in lessthan a minute.
Unlike the crystalline structure found in ordinary metals that makesthem strong but also results in them requiring three separate steps forprocessing (shaping, joining and finishing), the metal alloys recentlydeveloped by the Yale team are amorphous metals known as bulk metallic glasses(BMGs), whose randomly arranged atoms and low critical cooling rate allows themto be blow-molded into complex shapes like plastics. This allows theresearchers to combine the three traditional time- and energy-intensive metalprocessing steps into one blow molding process that takes less than a minute.
Although the different metals used to make the alloys, such aszirconium, nickel, titanium and copper, cost about the same as high-end steel,they can be processed as cheaply as plastic, according to Jan Schroers, amaterials scientist at Yale that led the team.
The BMGs ability to soften and flow as easily as plastic at lowtemperatures and low pressures, without crystallizing like regular metal iswhat allows the material to be shaped with unprecedented ease, versatility andprecision, Schroers said. To ensure the ideal temperature for blow moldingwas maintained, the team shaped the BMGs in a vacuum or in fluid.
"The trick is to avoid friction typically present in other formingtechniques," Schroers said. "Blow molding completely eliminatesfriction, allowing us to create any number of complicated shapes, down to thenanoscale."
Schroers and his team have already fabricated a wide variety of shapesand devices using the new processing technique, including miniature resonatorsfor microelectromechanical systems (MEMs) and gyroscopes, but they say that isjust the beginning.
"This could enable a whole new paradigm for shaping metals,"Schroers said. "The superior properties of BMGs relative to plastics andtypical metals, combined with the ease, economy and precision of blow molding,have the potential to impact society just as much as the development ofsynthetic plastics and their associated processing methods have in the lastcentury."
The new processing technique developed by the Yale researchers isdescribed online in the current issue of Materials Today.