alloys are a revolutionary class of materials that redefines performance
and cost paradigms. The superior properties of Liquidmetal alloys are
made possible by revolutionary scientific and technological innovations.
Liquidmetal alloys represent the first enabling materials technology
since the creation of thermoplastics and possess characteristics that
make them superior in many ways to other commercially-viable materials.
First, they have an "amorphous" atomic structure, which is unprecedented
for structural metals. Second, they include a multi-component chemical
composition, which can be optimized for various properties and
processes. Finally, they lend themselves to process technology similar
to that possessed by plastics.
The technology of Liquidmetal alloys provides for the optimization of
properties for specific applications by tailoring the combination of
process, chemistry and atomic structure. The technology of Liquidmetal
alloys is proprietary and covered by numerous existing or pending
atomic structure is the most striking characteristic of the Liquidmetal
alloys as it fundamentally differentiates Liquidmetal alloys from
The atomic structure of
ordinary or conventional metals and alloys is periodic, where the layout
of atomic elements shows repeating patterns over an extended range. This
atomic structure is called "crystalline" and limits the overall
performance of conventional metals.
Liquidmetal alloys possess
an "amorphous" atomic structure, which is truly unique. By contrast to
the crystalline structure, no discernable patterns exist in the atomic
structure of the unique Liquidmetal alloys. As such, properties superior
to the limits of conventional metals can be achieved.
This amorphous atomic
structure leads to a unique set of characteristic properties for the
family of Liquidmetal alloys.
These characteristic properties are:
High Yield Strength
Superior Elastic Limit
One of the direct results of
the unique atomic structure of Liquidmetal alloys is very high yield
strength, which approaches the theoretical limit and far exceeds the
strength currently available in crystalline metals and alloys. For
example, yield strength of over 250 ksi has been achieved in Zr-base and
Ti-base Liquidmetal alloys (VIT-001 series). This is more than twice the
strength of conventional titanium alloys.
Another unique property of
Liquidmetal alloys is the superior elastic limit; i.e., the ability to
retain its original shape (memory) after undergoing very high loads and
stress. Furthermore, the Liquidmetal alloys have much higher corrosion
and wear resistance than their conventional (crystalline) counterparts
due to the unique atomic structure. By varying chemical composition,
some properties within the family of Liquidmetal alloys can be optimized
One of the most unique
characteristics of Liquidmetal alloys is the availability of its
superior mechanical properties in as-cast form. This is in distinct
contrast to conventional metals where the as-cast forms have inferior
mechanical properties compared to their wrought and forged forms, which
limits the fabrication of intricate and sophisticated designs.
The solidification of
Liqudmetal alloys shows fundamentally distinct characteristics compared
to the solidification of ordinary metals. This is due to the lack of
phase transformation from the molten metal state during solidification.
In addition, Liquidmetal alloys have very low melting temperature
relative to their constituent metals. As a result, it is possible to
fabricate Liquidmetal alloys in intricate and sophisticated designs
without costly post-finishing processes.
The above mentioned
qualities, specifically the availability of superior properties in
as-cast form and low melting temperature, provide exceptional
opportunities for processing Liquidmetal alloys in composite forms with
a variety of reinforcements. The near-net shape processing
characteristics of Liquidmetal alloys make the fabrication of highly
sophisticated and sound composite structures possible. This allows us to
further improve or tailor the following properties of Liquidmetal alloys
for specific applications:
Thermal and Electrical
Coefficient of Thermal
Acoustic and Dampening
This very unique combination of superior properties in the domain of
high-strength metals and the fabrication characteristics of plastics
positions the family of Liquidmetal alloys as the new paradigm in
materials science. This revolutionary material will enable applications
that will render obsolete current technology based on materials from
titanium to plastic.