New alloy as tough as steel

Scientists at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena have developed an alloy that is as strong and as sturdy as the toughest steel. Combining the best features of glass and metals to create amorphous metals, this development could potentially replace steel in buildings, cars or bridges. Amorphous metals are made by rapidly cooling molten metal, so that its atoms are frozen in a disordered arrangement resembling the structure of glass. A combination composed of palladium, silver and a small amount of other elements created the right mix for the glassy metal. The team is now looking for a cheaper version based on copper, iron or aluminum as palladium is an expensive precious metal.

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