The Liquidmetal team emphasizes innovation and idea generation from within, and outside the company. A recent exciting design exploits the remarkable elastic properties of our material.
The idea is to make a disc spring (also known as a Belleville washer, coned-disc spring, conical spring washer, Belleville spring, or cupped spring washer), which is a spring shaped like a washer. This also applies to its cousins the curved disc spring and wave washers.
This is a part that can be molded easily, precisely and cost-effectively. We can envisage a mold containing 64 washers, which require no post-processing after they have been degated.
But it is the properties of the material that sets Liquidmetal apart for this application.
Firstly, Liquidmetal is elastic, able to be bent over and over again without deformation. It will continue to exert exactly the same force as new. See the amazing video in this post which compares Liquidmetal against titanium (the former returning elastically, and the latter bending plastically).
Secondly, Liquidmetal is long lasting. It is highly corrosion resistant, and highly scratch resistant, with a hardness measure of 53 (Rockwell C) or 576 (Vickers).
And lastly, Liquidmetal Injection Molding produces parts precisely. As Liquidmetal alloy solidifies, it has a shrinkage of about 0.2%, with an as-cast surface roughness of less than 0.05μm. We essentially reproduce the surface of the mold, exactly. Read more about Liquidmetal properties here.