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Nanotechnology offers moldable plastic as strong as metal

Nanomaterial stronger than steel, but as versatile as plastic capable of moulding has been developed by researchers at Yale University. Development of such materials has been the ambition of scientists and this has been made possible by these materials scientist. It can be molded into complex shapes easily at low expense as plastic without sacrificing the strength and durability of an equivalent metal.
The researchers at Yale University have shown that bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) metal alloys developed by them that have randomly arranged atoms can be blow molded like plastics into complex shapes that can not be achieved using regular metal which has crystalline structure, without sacrificing the strength or durability that metal. The alloys are made up of different metals, including zirconium, nickel, titanium and copper. The materials cost about the same as high-end steel, but can be processed as cheaply as plastic. The researchers have blow molded the alloys at low temperatures and low pressures with ease, versatility and precision under vacuum or in fluid.
Friction eliminated
This has been made possible in the process by avoiding friction typically present in other forming techniques. Blow molding completely eliminates friction, thus helping to create any number of complicated shapes, down to the nanoscale.
The researchers have used this new processing technique to fabricate miniature resonators for micro electromechanical systems (MEMS), gyroscopes and other resonator applications. The researchers were also able to combine three separate steps in traditional metal processing (shaping, joining and finishing) into one, allowing them to carry out previously cumbersome, time and energy intensive processing in less than a minute.

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