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June 25, 2004

Miracle Metal Has Twice the Strength of Steel

Amporphous steel might "revolutionize" steel industry and engineering:

New York, NY, Jun. 24 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists have made amorphous steel, which has molecular bonds that resemble those of a liquid more than a metal, and a hardness and strength more than double the best ultra-high-strength conventional steels.

...

Compared with crystalline counterparts, amorphous materials usually show superior mechanical and temperature properties and corrosion resistance. On the other hand, amorphous materials can cost about $100 a pound, "much more expensive than the crystalline materials," Lu said.

...

Now, after nearly a year of work, the team believes it has found a way to make amorphous steel in bulk economically with traditional, drop-casting methods. Its cost should be comparable to that of conventional steels, Lu said.

The researchers presented their findings in the June 18 issue of the journal Physical Review Letters.

"In a nutshell, the key technological impact is that the invention of amorphous steels can potentially revolutionize the steel industry," said Joseph Poon, a materials physicist at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, who was not involved in the research.

...
The key was adding just a dash of yttrium.

I hate to say this, but had they asked me that, I could have told them that.

Pretty much I add a dash of yttrium to everything these days. It's the Miracle Element. For my money, it's even better than Wulfram.

The rare-earth metal helps frustrate the onset of crystallization even as the liquid steel approaches its solidification temperature -- about 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit (1,370 degrees Celsius). The steel then can be shaped with conventional melting and casting techniques. Poon noted the steels could even be processed like plastic.

I like that this guy's name is "Poon."

Thanks to Free Republic for the catch.


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posted by Ace at 10:21 PM

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