Bulk Metallic Glass (BMG)

Bulk Metal Glasses (BMG) are alloys (or a mixture of composed metals) that could be produced as cheap as plastic while the properties of glass and metal. “…Certain oxide mixtures…can be readily undercooled far below the point of crystals…At deep undercooling, these oxide melts undergo a ‘glass transition’ and freeze as vitreous.”1 Or in layman’s terms, BMG’s have cooling rates that are low enough to produce amorphous (randomly arranged) rather than crystalline structures (rigid organization of atoms) that are found in conventional metals.2 The atoms connected randomly like that of a liquid. The disorder of the atoms actually eliminates defects seen in crystalline—“without these ‘weal spots,’ metallic glasses exhibit extraordinary mechanical properties, magnetic behavior corrosion resistance.”2 One can actually witness a stainless steel bounce repeatedly on a BMG surface as opposed to the same stainless steel ball exhibiting no movement on a stainless steel surface.3 BMGs are 2 or 3 times stronger conventional metals with higher elastic limits, and their lower melting temperature and amorphous atom structure for simpler and more cost-effective fabrication such as injection-molding used in fabrication with plastics.1,4

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Sources:

1. “Bulk Metallic Glass Development.” Caltech Web. Accessed 04 Sept. 2013. <http://www.its.caltech.edu/~vitreloy/development.htm&gt;.
2. Dauskardt, Reinhold H. and Katharine M. Flores. “Mechanical Behavior of Bulk Metallic Glasses.” Caltech Web. Accessed 04 Sept. 2013. <http://dauskardt.stanford.edu/kathy_fl ores/BMG/bmg.html>.
3. OSU Materials. “Bulk Metallic Glass – BMG – Demonstration of Mechanical Properties.” YouTube. Web. Accessed 04 Sept. 2013.
<http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yg0hUqdzXGw&gt;.
4. Brownell, Blaine. “Hardcore Plastic.” Transstudio. Web. 1 May 2011. Accessed 04 Sept. 2013.
<http://transstudio.com/hardcore-plastic/&gt;.

Photo: http://transstudio.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/article-A_hardplas.jpg

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