Sunday, January 9, 2011

Glassy Metal Set to Rival Steel: Scientific American

Glassy Metal Set to Rival Steel: Scientific American: "Unfortunately, for a long time these 'glassy metals' also seemed to be inherently brittle. This is because they contain small defects that can clump together into bands, as the material begins to fail, says Demetriou. These bands can rapidly turn into cracks, and the material shatters.

However, materials scientists now know that, ironically, generating an extremely large number of these bands could have the opposite effect -- making the material tougher. 'If you dramatically amplify the number of bands, they start to interlace and form networks,' says Demetriou. 'When new cracks evolve in the glassy metal, these networks cluster around the crack tips, blocking them from growing.'"

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