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« em: Novembro 19, 2005, 07:49:18 pm »
Unlocking the Code – Science, Systems and Technological Breakthroughs
Jeremy Faludi

NASA, CalTech, and the DOE have come up with a pretty amazing new metal alloy (or family of alloys, actually), which has twice the strength and three times the elasticity of titanium. This isn't in the lab, either--it's been available commercially for a couple years now, if you knew where to look. Now NASA and co. have worked out the bugs well enough to get serious about commercialization.

Called "Liquidmetal", it is made of zirconium, titanium, nickel, copper, and beryllium, and it has an amorphous crystalline structure rather than a crystal lattice. (Hence the name Liquidmetal--as it cools, it doesn't change molecular structure significantly, it just gets more and more viscous until it's a solid, like glass does. Unlike glass, however, it's extremely tough and flexible.) I don't know what the environmental impact of manufacture is, but super-strong and super-tough materials like this enable "dematerialization"--using less mass to do the same job. This is a useful green design strategy, particularly for transportation and buildings.

Even better, it has a much lower melting point than the metals it's made from, so it can be cast into permanent molds for mass-manufacturing, as opposed to steel or titanium, which can only be cast into single-use molds. It also enjoys full strength in casting--it does not have to be forged or wrought to achieve full strength.

A company named LiquidMetal was formed to sell the technology. As they say on their website, "Steel was the foundation of our modern industrial revolution... Plastic's overwhelming cost advantage leads to explosive growth [because mass-production casting can be done with a single permanent mold]... Liquidmetal alloys combine over twice the strength of titanium with the processing efficiency of plastics to create the 3rd revolution." That's a pretty bold statement, but so far the material has only been used for sporting goods (skis, baseball bats, tennis rackets, and golf clubs) and a flash-drive case. Still, the company envisions much more high-performance applications, and if everything they promise is true, it's hard to imagine they'll be wrong.

MUITO interessante e uma excelente oportunidade para a indústria dos moldes nacional.
Esteja atento, Sr. António!
Ai de ti Lusitânia, que dominarás em todas as nações...



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« Responder #1 em: Novembro 19, 2005, 08:29:31 pm »
"Liquidmetal" isso já existe desde o tempo do "Exterminador Implacável 2"... :toto:  :toto:

(Peço desculpa por estar a "abandalhar" o tema...)

B. Pereira Marques


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