What is Liquidmetal?
Amorphous alloys as a scientific breakthrough now impact hundreds of applications and components across a wide range of markets. To engineers, metallurgists, scientists, and business professionals alike, interest comes from material properties that are nearly impossible to form in crystalline metals, with CNC-like complex precision molding. Now, as a production-ready, high volume manufacturing solution, amorphous metals represent a host of powerful material and manufacturing capabilities.
A Case for Liquidmetal
Minimally Invasive Medical Devices
Millions of minimally invasive surgical procedures are performed every year in the United States. These procedures are commonly performed by, but not limited to:
Gastroenterologists, Internists, Gynecologists, Cardiovascular Surgeons, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons, Orthopedic Surgeons, and Veterinarians. Of the dozens of different procedures performed using minimally invasive techniques, most of them utilize at least one piece of equipment that contains a component suitable for the Liquidmetal technology.
Liquidmetal Alloy in Automotive Applications
Key Liquidmetal technology process attributes include precision, strength, surface finish, corrosion resistance, hardness, and high elasticity. These attributes result in a broad range of automotive application categories that could benefit from the technology. Among them include engine timing systems, fuel injection, interior and exterior decorative components, passenger safety components, pumps, sensors, severe duty connectors, and many others.
Mixed Oxide Finish
The oxidized metal layer is transparent with a dissimilar index of refraction to that of the substrate amorphous alloy. Because the thickness of this very hard and transparent ceramic-like layer is on the order of the visible wavelengths of light, slight changes in the oxide layer thickness produce chromatic wavelength interference effects which result in pronounced reflected/refracted wavelengths (colors).
Automotive Pressure Sensors
In addition to technology advancements, changing laws and regulations are major reasons why pressure sensors are a growing product in the automotive market. The sensor collects and relays valuable information about engine performance, energy efficiency, and an object’s environment.
RF Shielding Overview
How a material interacts with radio frequency (RF) electromagnetic radiation greatly dictates its potential uses and applications. For some, the purpose of a device is to shield against specific frequencies. Other designers are trying to minimize electromagnetic interactions to help preserve signal clarity. Liquidmetal is more transparent to RF signals than many materials of similar strength and hardness. Put another way, it is much more electromagnetically similar to titanium than to either copper or steel.
A Sound Decision
This study shows that Liquidmetal is an acoustically intriguing material with the ability to conduct sound energy efficiently and uniformly across a wide range of audible frequencies. We have shown that when thoughtfully applied to instrument design, Liquidmetal can elegantly enhance tone amplitude, sustain, and timbre. Additionally, it can also be molded into complex geometries, has better corrosion resistance than stainless steel, can be produced with the repeatable dimensional accuracy of precision CNC operations, and can exhibit cosmetic quality appearance quality visual appearance.
Liquidmetal Can Make Music
Are you looking for a new sound or trying to recapture an old sound? Are you interested in how the next generation of materials can impact the way musical instruments are designed and customized for an ever expanding variety of artistic styles?
Liquidmetal may be ideally suited for
Few products are as carefully engineered as implantable medical devices. Materials that have prolonged contact with body tissues and fluids must be biocompatible, and when they contain batteries and sensitive electronics, they must be durable and hermetically sealed.
Forming the precise fit required to create a hermetic seal to protect internal electronics, and forming the miniature structures that contain them requires costly machining. Liquidmetal’s recent prototype run of amorphous metal pacemaker enclosures indicates significant potential cost savings for similar components.
Engineers face an extra challenge when designing and manufacturing metal parts for marine applications. The harsh oceanic environment wears on equipment with the corrosive nature of salt, along with other unforgiving natural elements. SCUBA equipment must not only withstand these elements but also perform at a high-level throughout the life of the product.
Titanium regulator components have allowed manufacturers to develop SCUBA equipment that is more durable and significantly lighter than previous materials, two critical attributes. Liquidmetal amorphous alloys outperform titanium in almost every specification; including strength, hardness, and density.
Miltner Adams MA-6 Hybrid Knife
When Miltner-Adams first contacted the Liquidmetal team, a Hybrid Knife concept was presented. The design concept was based on an eight piece assembly, requiring various complicated and precise machining processes to achieve final part geometries.