Rutgers researchers have identified a class of high-strength metal alloys that show potential to make springs, sensors and switches smaller and more responsive.
Credit: Physical Review Letters
Nano-sized particles embedded in alloys can make alloys highly elastic and enable them to convert electrical and magnetic energy into movement.
The alloys could be used in springier blood vessel stents, sensitive microphones, powerful loudspeakers, and components that boost the performance of medical imaging equipment, security systems and clean-burning gasoline and diesel engines.
While these nanostructured metal alloys are not new – they are used in turbine blades and other parts demanding strength under extreme conditions – the Rutgers researchers are pioneers at investigating these new properties.
“We have been doing theoretical studies on these materials, and our computer modeling suggests they will be super-responsive,” said Armen Khachaturyan, professor of Materials Science and Engineering in the Rutgers School of Engineering. He and postdoctoral researcher Weifeng Rao believe these materials can be a hundred times more responsive than today’s materials in the same applications.
Writing in the March 11 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe how this class of metals with embedded nanoparticles can be highly elastic, or “springy,” and can convert electrical and magnetic energy into movement or vice-versa. Materials that exhibit these properties are known among scientists and engineers as “functional” materials.
One class of functional materials generates an electrical voltage when the material is bent or compressed. Conversely, when the material is exposed to an electric field, it will deform. Known as piezoelectric materials, they are used in ultrasound instruments; audio components such as microphones, speakers and even venerable record players; autofocus motors in some camera lenses; spray nozzles in inkjet printer cartridges; and several types of electronic components.
High Resolution VersionIn another class of functional materials, changes in magnetic fields deform the material and vice-versa. These magnetorestrictive materials have been used in naval sonar systems, pumps, precision optical equipment, medical and industrial ultrasonic devices, and vibration and noise control systems.
The materials that Khachaturyan and Rao are investigating are technically known as “decomposed two-phase nanostructured alloys.” They form by cooling metals that were exposed to high temperatures at which the nanosized particles of one crystal structure, or phase, are embedded into another type of phase. The resulting structure makes it possible to deform the metal under an applied stress while allowing the metal to snap back into place when the stress is removed.
These nanostructured alloys might be more effective than traditional metals in applications such blood vessel stents, which have to be flexible but can’t lose their “springiness.” In the piezoelectric and magnetorestrictive components, the alloy’s potential to snap back into shape after deforming – a property known as non-hysteresis – could improve energy efficiency over traditional materials that require energy input to restore their original shapes.
In addition to potentially showing responses far greater than traditional materials, the new materials may be tunable; that is, they may exhibit smaller or larger shape changes and output force based on varying mechanical, electrical or magnetic input and the material processing.
The researchers hope to test the results of their computer simulations on actual metals in the near future.
The Rutgers team collaborated with Manfred Wittig, professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Maryland. Their research was funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Energy.Media Contact: Carl Blesch
Carl Blesch | EurekAlert!
Machine-learning predicted a superhard and high-energy-density tungsten nitride
18.07.2018 | Science China Press
In borophene, boundaries are no barrier
17.07.2018 | Rice University
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
19.07.2018 | Life Sciences
19.07.2018 | Earth Sciences
19.07.2018 | Social Sciences