Want a tennis racket that propels balls faster than a race car or a sturdy ship hull that never rusts? Finding the recipes for such remarkable materials – called amorphous metals – should be easier using a new computational approach developed by Carnegie Mellon University physicist Michael Widom.
Described in an upcoming issue of Phys. Rev. B (September 1, 2004), this method already has been used to virtually generate recipes for more than 1,700 structures, many of which have never before been analyzed. The novel approach should prove valuable in guiding future bench testing and sparing countless hours of laboratory trial and error to generate amorphous metals.
Alloys for everyday materials like stainless steel are made by combining a metal with other elements. The resulting metals crystallize into lattices in which atoms line up in orderly arrangements. Defects in these crystals inevitably weaken materials made from them, leading to fractures and corrosion.
Lauren Ward | EurekAlert!
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