Amorphous Metal

Liquidmetal is an Established, Powerful Alternative

Amorphous metals bring a new level of capabilities to material science and manufacturing. Crystalline alloys can often achieve a specific property like strength or hardness through post-processing. Metal injection molding of amorphous metals is a single-step solution, providing a series of physical properties unmatched in total by any crystalline metal.

Amorphous Metal vs Common Alloys

Metal alloys have almost always shared the common thread of having a crystalline microstructure, which is both an advantage and disadvantage when it comes to processing and mechanical properties. Amorphous Metal (bulk metallic glass)  provide an alternative at the most basic level, with a random atomic microstructure. Both crystalline and amorphous metals are amorphous in the molten state, but as amorphous metals cool they do not undergo a phase transformation from liquid-like to crystalline. This results in a lack of crystals, columnar grains, or grain boundaries.

Technology Evolution of Amorphous Metals

Early amorphous metals could only be manufactured in very thin ribbons, using a melt-spinning method to achieve the massive cooling rates required to defeat normal crystallization that occurs when metal changes from a liquid to a solid. R&D efforts began at NASA and Caltech, continuing on through hundreds of universities – as well as Liquidmetal Technologies itself.

Now the technology has driven past the limitation of thin ribbons. We can use metal injection molding with larger cross sections, allowing for the manufacturing of useful parts across multiple industries.

So, just howstronghardelasticdenseare amorphous metals?
0
Yield Strength
MPa
6.8
Density
g/cm³
0
Hardness
Rockwell C
1.6
Elasticity
(% of original shape)

Amorphous Metals have a Random Atomic Structure

As amorphous metals cool, a lack of phase transformation maintains a liquid-like microstructure in the hardened metal. Because of this, little to no shrinkage occurs during the metal injection molding process, resulting in the alloy mimicking the mold cavity to levels of precision comparable to CNC machining. This means what you design into the mold is what you get, no post-molding processes required to achieve final part geometries. Along with a unique set of material properties, including unmatched strength to weight and elasticity, amorphous metal is in a league of its own.

Traditional Metals have a Crystalline Structure

Every day you and I interact with dozens of crystalline materials, shaping the world we live in – from building infrastructure to the cars we drive. Grain boundaries in the material result in behaviors we are all familiar with, such as denting or bending. This makes crystalline alloys fundamentally different from amorphous metals.

Learn about the only large-scale production molding process available for amorphous metals

Learn more about Amorphous Metal

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Design Guide 5.0