A family of metallic glass alloys. Most metals have a polycrystalline structure. This means that they are made up of many tiny crystals. Metallic glasses have an amorphous structure, meaning that the metal atoms are not arranged in any sort of long range pattern. Currently, they are too expensive to be used for most everyday applications. This should not be confused with the technology from Terminator 2. The main manufacturing facility for these alloys is in South Korea.
In addition to having mechanical properties superior to steel, it can be molded like plastic. One of the major disadvantages of most metals is that they can not be molded like plastics. Molding is one of the quickest and cheapest ways to mass produce objects with complicated shapes like mobile phone casings. The yield strength and elongation at break of this material are almost twice as good as they are for some steel and titanium alloys. Also, it displays almost no hysterisis. This means that when it is deformed and returns to its original shape, very little energy is lost. As is shown on the manufacturer's website, a ball made from the material will bounce for a much longer time than a steel or titanium ball will.
Each alloy is a blend of dissimilar metals. Since the atoms do not fit well together, they can not form crystals.
- William Johnson
- Atakan Peker
Metallic glass research has taken place since the 1950s, but the development of these materials sprung from a breakthrough in 1992. A lot of that research was done at Caltech.