Metals produced using the new technology are 4 times harder than usual
Researchers have developed a new way to create superhard metals through chemical treatment.
Manufacturing methods such as forging, rolling, twisting or bending are commonly used to increase the hardness of a metal. Such manipulations lead to a decrease in the size of the grains of the microscopic structure of the material, due to which they are compressed more densely. Now the team at Brown University has found a way to directly tune these clusters in bulk.
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Instead of an external physical impact, scientists formed metal by compressing individual nanoparticles into a single crystal. This makes it possible to achieve uniform grain sizes for tighter coalescence.
However, the problem is that the surface of metals is usually covered with organic molecules called ligands, which interfere with the interaction of individual nanoparticles. Therefore, in order to tightly merge the clusters under low pressure, the team cleaned them chemically.
The resulting metals were 2-4 times harder than normal. Apart from a significant increase in density, the researchers found no other significant changes in other properties.The researchers found that other properties, such as electrical conductivity and light reflectance, were virtually indistinguishable from the standard values of these metals.
According to scientists, this method can be applied to any metal. It can also be used to make metallic glass from just one component rather than an alloy.
Since the cleaning process uses a simple chemical treatment and the required pressure is within the operating range of standard industrial equipment, the team expects the technology to become widespread in production soon.
Recall that earlier scientists have developed a new method for the production of diamonds, which allows you to create two rare types of ultra-strong material in just a couple of minutes at room temperature.
, Brown University