Scientists at the University of Virginia have announced the discovery of a non-magnetic amorphous material that is three times stronger than conventional steel and has superior anti-corrosion properties. A future variation of the new material, called DARVA-Glass 101, could be used for making ship hulls, lighter automobiles, tall buildings, corrosion-resistant coatings, surgical instruments and recreational equipment. The scientists say commercial use of the material could be available within three to five years.
The material, made up of steel alloys that possess a randomized arrangement of atoms -- thus “amorphous steel” -- was discovered by modifying an earlier version of amorphous steel known as DARVA-Glass 1 reported by the U.Va. researchers at the Fall 2002 meeting of the Materials Research Society. In May of this year they reported on DARVA-Glass 101 in the Journal of Materials Research.
“Amorphous steels can potentially revolutionize the steel industry,” said Joseph Poon, professor of physics at U.Va. and principal investigator for the team that has discovered the material and is now making alterations of it for possible future use in mass production.
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