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Thursday, September 09, 2004

Supercomputer Helps to Find Metallic Glass
Before going further, what are metallic glasses? Unlike conventional metals, which have regular molecular structures, amorphous metals, or metallic glasses, exhibit disorganized structures. Because of this disorganization, they don't have the defects which are common in crystals, and which lead to corrosion or even rupture. Until now, these amorphous metals were created by melting and casting various alloys. Not anymore. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that a team of physicists led by a Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) professor is using a new computational method to simulate future alloys at the Pittsburgh Computing Center (PSC).

For example, with the help of the supercomputers at PSC, the team discovered that adding small quantities of yttrium will lead to superstrong amorphous steel, before doing any physical experiment. In the next three to five years, this will bring to the market ship hulls that never rust and are invisible to magnetic detection. And amorphous aluminum will be incorporated into lighter planes and cars. Read more here for other details and references, including a couple of pictures showing the difference between conventional and amorphous metals.
:: posted by Roland Piquepaille, 8:55 AM Comments (0)
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