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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Metallic Glass hits the golf ball further and is likely to hit the global market just as hard!

"Throw a rock through a window made of silica glass, and the brittle, insulating oxide pane shatters. But whack a golf ball with a club made of metallic glass—a resilient conductor that looks like metal—and the glass not only stays intact but also may drive the ball farther than conventional clubs. In light of this contrast, the nature of glass seems anything but clear." ref., Phys.org.,newsletter, 0ct.2 014-10-18.



"A new study at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, published Sept. 24 in Nature Communications, has cracked one mystery of glass to shed light on the mechanism that triggers its deformation before shattering. The study improves understanding of glassy deformation and may accelerate broader application of metallic glass, a moldable, wear-resistant, magnetically exploitable material that is thrice as strong as the mightiest steel and ten times as springy.
Whereas metals are usually crystalline, metallic glasses are amorphous in atomic structure. Amorphous metals, studied since the 1950s, have a tendency to crystallise when heated, which makes them extremely brittle. Metallic glass alloys that did not crystallise so easily were discovered at Tohoku University and Caltech in 1991 and introduced commercially in golf clubs in 2001."
How materials deform is still high on the research agenda:
"the researchers calculated how atoms move on a personal computer. To describe deformation at the atomic level, they sampled a large number of paths along which a system can evolve. Analysing the ensuing ensemble, they arrived at the statistically likely scenario."
"We unravelled the mystery of this deformation mechanism in not only the metallic  system but also the general amorphous system," Fan said. "It's a challenging randomness problem, but from this huge model statistical result, we find [these two systems] are surprisingly governed by the same mechanism."
"Next the researchers will explore what happens between deformation and shattering. "As a consequence of deformation, next comes the stage where 20 atoms are affected," Egami said. "Sometimes they start an avalanche. Then hundreds of atoms are involved. At the end, all atoms in the system are involved—billions of atoms. So shattering is first started by five and then snowballs into big action."
The researchers' improved fundamental understanding of  creates new knowledge of a material class about which little is known. Such advances may contribute to the USA, federal government's Materials Genome Initiative, launched in 2011 to accelerate discovery, manufacture and deployment of advanced materials for the global marketplace.
Metallurgist and Golfers alike maybe pleased to read more on the topic of Metallic Glasses via links provided by Phys.org.,  and in particular,  Nature Communications. 

Read more at Phys.org 


Three cheers to the metallurgical & mat sci community. Golfers Enjoy.
Original Article Title:

Atomic trigger shatters mystery of how glass deforms:



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