Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Amorphous Steel: Three Times Stronger and Non-magnetic

06.07.2004


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.


Poon’s U.Va. co-investigators are Gary Shiflet, professor of materials science and engineering, and Vijayabarathi Ponnambalam, materials physicist. Their amorphous steel project at U.Va is sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Structural Amorphous Metals Program.

According to Poon, researchers have been trying for years to make amorphous steel in sizes large enough to have practical use. The U.Va researchers have succeeded in producing large-size amorphous steel samples that can be further scaled up. They achieve this by adding a small dose of a rare earth element or yttrium to DARVA-Glass 1. The researchers believe that the large size rare earth or yttrium atom causes destabilization of the competing crystal structure wherein the significant atomic level stress can lead to the formation of the amorphous structure. These discoveries make the U.Va. researchers optimistic that the material will be economically available within the decade.

In a separate work, a group led by C.T. Liu, a physicist at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, has also reported on large size amorphous steel similar to DARVA-Glass 101 in the June issue of Physical Review Letters, also by modifying the DARVA-Glass 1 discovered by the U.Va scientists.

Poon said the amorphous steel is extremely strong, but brittle in its current state. “We need to toughen the material more,” he said. “We can always make it better.”

According to the U.Va. researchers, amorphous steel can be machined as well as manipulated like a plastic. “It can be squeezed, compressed, flattened and shaped.” Poon said.

The material is of particular interest to the Navy for making non-magnetic ship hulls, particularly for submarines, which are detectable by the magnetic field of their hulls. The amorphous steel that the U.Va. team is refining is non-magnetic, potentially making a ship invisible to magnetism detectors and mines that are detonated by magnetic fields. The new material also may be useful for producing lighter but harder armor-piercing projectiles. The publicly traded company Liquidmetal Technologies owns an exclusive license to the amorphous steel invented by the U.Va. scientists.

Other possible uses include recreational equipment such as tennis racquets, golf clubs and bicycles as well as electronic devices.

| newswise
Further information:
http://www.virginia.edu

More articles from Materials Sciences:

nachricht New design improves performance of flexible wearable electronics
23.06.2017 | North Carolina State University

nachricht Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics
22.06.2017 | American Chemical Society

All articles from Materials Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>