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New Metal Created by Researchers with Greater Stiffness-to-Weight Ratio

Update Date: Dec 30, 2015 10:48 AM EST

An exceptionally strong yet lightweight metal was created by a team of researchers at UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering & Applied Sciences. This new innovation can help in development of advanced aircraft, cars and spacecraft. The new metal called the "nanocomposite" contains almost 86% magnesium and 14% silicon carbide proportion by weight. This composition is capable of enduring high levels of heat with affecting its integrity. Simply put, the new silicon carbide-infused magnesium displayed high levels of strength and absolute value, West Texas News Reported.

To create this lightweight, albeit super-strong metal, the team discovered new ways to separate and the stabilize nanoparticles present in molten metals. Alongside, they also developed a manufacturing process that is scalable and can help produce high-performance metals that are extremely light weight. The research was published today in Nature. "It's been proposed that nanoparticles could really enhance the strength of metals without damaging their plasticity, especially light metals like magnesium, but no groups have been able to disperse ceramic nanoparticles in molten metals until now," said Xiaochun Li, the principal investigator on the research and Raytheon Chair in Manufacturing Engineering at UCLA. "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."

"The researchers' new silicon-carbide-infused magnesium demonstrated record levels of specific strength - how much weight a material can withstand before breaking - and specific modulus - the material's stiffness-to-weight ratio," according to a press release. "It also showed superior stability at high temperatures," says The International Business Times

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