US Scientists create New Strong and Lightweight Material
US scientists have created a new material which is strong and lightweight enough to manufacture lighter aircraft and fuel efficient vehicles. The scientists believe the invented material is capable of revolutionizing automotive industries.
The scientist team from the University of California took ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles and magnesium and combined them to create the material. When they heated the metal, they found that its integrity was maintained and it was withstanding high temperatures.
Nanoparticles, tiny pieces of any material, can have size between 1 and 100 nanometers. Some nanoparticles are so minuscule that they cannot be seen with the naked eye. Properties of a material change when they are scaled to such a tiny size. While creating the new material, the scientists took silicon carbide nanoparticles and infused them into molten magnesium zinc.
The new metal, dubbed as nanocomposite, they got is comprised of about 86% of magnesium and 14% silicon carbide. Xiaochun Li, a researcher from the University of California and part of the new research, said, “It's been proposed that nanoparticles could really enhance the strength of metals without damaging their plasticity, especially light metals like magnesium. But no groups have been able to disperse ceramic nanoparticles in molten metals until now”.
The scientists think the material could be used in future as a load-bearing metal used in buildings and vehicles. Magnesium, which is two-thirds the density of aluminum, is the lightest structural metal presently. The new material could also be used in the production of mobile electronics and biomedical devices.
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