A new discovery could change the future of space travel.
Scientists at the University of California Los Angeles have just stumbled upon an amazing new metal that could revolutionize the spacecraft industry.
The new metal is a combination of magnesium and ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles, and it would have a range of applications, according to a UPI report.
Materials scientists at UCLA found that no other metal compares to it in terms of its combination of strength and its lightness. It could be used in not only spacecraft but also cars and airplanes.
And this could only be the beginning. The discovery of htis metal could lead to a breakthrough in the manufacturing of metals in the future, as it’s not just the metal they discovered it’s the technique: they infused metals with nanoparticles, and it didn’t compromise the structural integrity of the metal. That opens up new possibilities for more combinations that could lead to even stronger types of metals, or metals with other useful properties.
It all comes down to nanoparticles, which have the capability of strengthening metals without damaging them.
“With an infusion of physics and materials processing, our method paves a new way to enhance the performance of many different kinds of metals by evenly infusing dense nanoparticles to enhance the performance of metals to meet energy and sustainability challenges in today’s society,” said Xiaochun Li, a professor of manufacturing and engineering at UCLA, in a statement.
Li added: “The results we obtained so far are just scratching the surface of the hidden treasure for a new class of metals with revolutionary properties and functionalities.”
The opening statement of the UCLA news release is below, summarizing the finding:
“A team led by researchers from the UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science has created a super-strong yet light structural metal with extremely high specific strength and modulus, or stiffness-to-weight ratio. The new metal is composed of magnesium infused with a dense and even dispersal of ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles. It could be used to make lighter airplanes, spacecraft, and cars, helping to improve fuel efficiency, as well as in mobile electronics and biomedical devices.
“To create the super-strong but lightweight metal, the team found a new way to disperse and stabilize nanoparticles in molten metals. They also developed a scalable manufacturing method that could pave the way for more high-performance lightweight metals.”
The findings were published in the journal Nature.