Finding new metallic glasses faster
By using a high-throughput method to rapidly make and test multiple alloys called metallic glasses, researchers have discovered materials with a rare combination of exceptional properties.
Bulk metallic glasses are made by combining different metals to form an atomically disordered mixture. These unusual materials can combine attributes such as extreme strength and corrosion resistance with excellent thermoplastic formability — a property that enables ready fabrication into complex shapes.
However, discovering new bulk metallic glass materials has been a trial-and-error process.
Now, researchers from the Advanced Institute of Materials Research (AIMR) at Tohoku University have found a way to dramatically sped up the discovery of new metallic glasses.
The team used massively parallel synthesis to combine iridium, nickel, tantalum and boron in different proportions, creating libraries of new substances. They then used electrical resistivity as an easily measured proxy of each new material’s physical properties.
This approach enabled the team to discover new bulk metallic glasses that add high-temperature strength to these materials’ already impressive list of attributes.
- Nature 569, 99–103 (2019). doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1145-z