What is Liquidmetal used for?

What is Liquidmetal used for?

Summary: A high-tech amorphous alloy called Liquidmetal, licensed by Apple, has generated a lot of interest recently.


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  • Kinetic Energy Penetrator

    The Department of Defense has tested Liquidmetal for use as a Kinetic Energy Penetrator (KEP) rod. The KEP, technology that makes armor piercing ammunition work, currently makes use of depleted uranium (DU) because of its density and self-sharpening behavior. Ballistic tests conducted by the Army have shown that the Liquidmetal exhibit self-sharpening similar to the DU KEP, but without the toxicity of uranium.

    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

  • Industrial coatings

    Liquidmetal Coatings, a subsidiary of Liquidmetal Technologies, has been supplying a patented product called Armacor to the oil and gas industry for more than 17 years. The Armacor coating is used for drill pipes and tool joints and is valued for its high strength, hardness and low friction coefficient.

    Image credit: Armacor

  • Sports

    One area that Liquidmetal Technologies is interested in taking their wonder alloy is into the world of sports. The material has a number of properties -- strength, vibration dampening, hardness, corrosion-resistance -- that make it suited for use in sports products such as golf clubs, tennis rackets, skis and bicycles.

    Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Topic: Apple

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  • Liquidmetal

    I am interested in additional properties like thermal performance and corrosion resistance and a list of its alloy components and who its producers are.
    • I found this datasheet


      Might be useful to you.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • Aluminum based Liquidmetal alloys

      You may find the following linked article of interest.


      The aluminum based, nano-composite enhanced Liquidmetal alloys discussed should be lighter and have better thermal conductivity than the Vitriloy 1 class of materials described in the Liquidmetal Technologies data sheet.
  • You forget the Terminator

    I am pretty sure that the T-1000 Terminator was made from this same liquid metal, so be very wary of that seemingly harmless Apple tool.
    • Military uses

      I know you're joking but note that the list includes a number or military uses already. Particularly promising is the possibility of replacing depleted uranium in armor piercing munitions.

      Which raises another fanciful question: why is it that, on TV and in the movies whenever you see soldiers and others shooting at monsters, robots, aliens and such that bullets seem to be so marginally useful? Presumably the military, at least, has access to armor piercing rounds of various kinds. I'd like to see the Transformer, Android or Cylon that could stand up to real armor piercing rounds. Not to mention the mess such munitions would make of Godzilla, Aliens and Predators. Liquidmetal seems the appropriate weapon enhancement for sci-fi soldiers of every stripe. ;-)
      • Military Uses

        Liquid metal wouldn't replace uranium; the point of using uranium for armor piercing is that it has an extremely high density (hence high kinetic energy and momentum for a given exit velocity) and is pyrophoric (so it creates a flame/explosion after it penetrates). Liquid metal, as it is, is much lower density and not pyrophoric.
  • So what's new? Head's been using Liquid Metal for years!

    I have 3 Head tennis racquets that have Liquid Metal incorporated into the frame. These racquets are several years old. So why is this news?
    • It's new (and news) because Apple is revolutionizing Liquid Metal ! Again !

      Just like Apple revolutionized the wheel. Didn't you know?

      And some people will [quote]buy almost anything if it's shiny and made by Apple[/quote] (verbatim from news tube).

      www . youtube . com / watch?v=9BnLbv6QYcA

      But they can't patent it due to prior-art in the Terminator series...

      There is nothing new under the sun, but there are lots of old things we don't know.
      ~ Ambrose Bierce

      There was never a good war or a bad peace.
      ~ Benjamin Franklin

      There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.
      ~ Oscar Levant [/i]
      • So, if it's so commonplace, why

        isn't every other smart phone maker except Apple using it right now?
      • You know the answer to that baggins_z

        According to the gallery above (and others) it's been in use for some time. The reason no other smartphone manufaturer is using it?
        Simple - a great many people buy a smartphone based on criteria important to them - inexpensive, yet robust and versital. The use of this material would raise the price, and add nothing practicle.

        For Apple, a great many are willing to pay extra for the chance to have a phone made out of this revolutionary material Apple created.

        Apple put glass on the back of their phone, which added no value, yet raised the price.

        Why didn't other smartphone manufacturers put glass on the back of their phones?
        William Farrel
      • Liquidmetal will make Apple products cheaper (or more profitable...)

        For Apple, the appeal of Liquidmetal has to be cost and the ability to manufacture parts quickly. Right now, every high-end Apple mobile device is machined from solid blocks of material (iPad, iPhone, MacBooks). Machining delivers great mechanical integrity, light weight and good finish, but wow, it's expensive. And it is time consuming. Remember that Apple made 35 million iPhones just last quarter - and the frame of every single one was machined from solid stainless steel...

        Apple is growing at about 100% a year, and has been for the last several years. If they continue to machine cases / frames for their super thin, super light, super beautiful products, they face a daunting problem of doubling their machining capability every year into the future. This is where Liquidmetal technology comes to the rescue. Liquidmetal molding is the first fast, high volume process that delivers fine detail, thin wall sections and great finish with a mechanically strong material. Liquidmetal will position Apple to deliver the same kind of thin, strong, light products that command premium prices around the world in high volumes and at much lower costs. Whether the lower costs will be translated into lower consumer prices, or into higher Apple margins only time will tell.

        Apple's strategy with respect to Liquidmetal technology is pretty clear. They have purchased exclusive rights to use these materials and the associated manufacturing technology in the consumer electronics space. Further more, they appear to be partnering with the critical molding equipment manufacturers to develop the specialized and costly tooling to manufacture Liquidmetal parts at scale. This is just one more way Apple is deploying some of their mountain of cash to position themselves ahead of their competition.

        Another interesting dimension to the Liquidmetal technology story is the emergence of newer Liquidmetal alloys - majority Aluminum compositions without the poisonous Beryllium used in the original Vitriloy 1 and related alloys. Apple stated at the time the iPhone 4 was introduced that they had developed a special stainless steel alloy especially for the iPhone 4 machined frame-antenna structure. Apple may do something similar with Liquidmetal. A proprietary Liquidmetal alloy, taylored to Apple's manufacturing process and performance requirements (strength, thermal conductivity, finish, etc.) would offer substantial product value and with Apple's very high production volumes, the cost of alloy development would be only a small part of each iPhone, iPad or MacBook.
      • baggins: Apple isn't using liquidmetal right now

        No smartphone maker [b]including[/b] Apple is using it right now.

        But you didn't answer the original question. It is a [b]fact[/b] that Liquidmetal isn't new. That isn't up for debate. Since it isn't new, why is this news?

        I'll answer that for you: because it is something that Apple did (license the IP, they still haven't really used it) and Apple is the biggest company in the world. It is [b]not[/b] being reported because Liquidmetal is anything new. Or revolutionary. It is being reported because people care about Apple and for no other reason.
      • Fact and fantasy

        @William Farrel
        Once again, you put into evidence your COMPLETE ignorance of the matters you post with faux knowledge about.
        As pointed out by others, and readily available online, the reason no one else is using the technology has nothing to do with price. Do you even have ANY price data to back this claim?!?
        The reason that no one is using it is because Liquidmetal Technologies entered in to an exclusivity arrangement with Apple, so no other manufacturer can use it.
        Can't you at least bother to check your facts before posting what is clearly only your own, biased, suppositions as if they were fact?!!
      • deus: why are you always so rude?

        In this case, William Farrel is completely correct and you are completely wrong.

        Liquidmetal has been available for commercial use since 2003. Apple signed the agreement in the middle of 2010. That is 7 years where every single smartphone manufacturer refused to use Liquidmetal. Why? William Farrel has an answer. You don't.

        If you had politely made your point, you would only have looked uneducated. You chose to be extremely rude so now you look like an uneducated jerk.
      • Oh deusexmachina, with eyes so wide, and yet you still can't see

        The other manufacturers had a chance to use it prior to Apple signing an exclusive agreement in 2010. Maybe they thought about it and passed, maybe they never thought about it. This is hardly what you would call a "new technology or material", as it's been out since 2003.

        Oh, and did Apple sign an exclusive agreement with glass makers that kept other smartphone makers from using glass on their phones, as i haven't seen any other phones with glass on any other side as opposed to the front?

        Do some research sometime, OK?
        William Farrel
      • Why nobody has used it in consumer electronics?

        Most consumer electronic manufacturers are either el-cheapo or plain thief's of technology. They rarely invest.

        What this has to do with Liquidmetal? You conveniently skipped the "contains Beryllium" part of the originally available alloys? So what, you would be happy to hold an consumer electronics piece in your hands, put it to your ears etc --- and the thing is.. poisonous? Can anyone ever sell such things in the US?

        You may hate Apple all you wish, but they do the right thing here, as they have always done --- identified appropriate but underdeveloped technology and invested to make it usage. Of course, Apple will profit from this -- but this is business.

        I feel sorry for you guys, that the company you worship (*), Microsoft can't even think of such things, because they simply are not involved in any product design.

        (*) To worship a company is one of the stupidest things, but to each their own.
      • Ignorance and bliss

        @toddbottom and William Ferrel
        The person who is rude is you (along with William Farrel). You make post after post with declarative statements as if you are an authority in the field, when in fact you are not only wrong, you didn't even bother to do even simple basic research. In fact, you don't even bother to repsect simple rules of logic or evidence. Pointing this out after you do it time in and time out, trolling on discussion after discussion, is not rude.

        Case in point:
        "In this case, William Farrel is completely correct and you are completely wrong."

        Um, no he is not. He makes a particular declarative statement, namely:
        "The use of this material would raise the price, and add nothing practicle. [sic]"

        Based on what evidence? This is not a subjective, debatable claim, it is an objective, quantifiable claim. It is also wrong. From the forward direction, he offers NO substantive proof that using this material, absent Apple's agreement, would increase costs. Certainly the fabrication cost over standard metal milling techniques, since liquid metal can be cast, is SUBSTANTIALLY lower. From the reverse direction, using this material adds SIGNIFICANTLY to the structural strength of the final item, as well as increasing durability, due to liquid metal's vastly superior tensile strength and phenomenal hardness.
        He, and you, are just plain wrong.

        And then you go on to compound your error, giving the perfect example for why you charlatans need to be called out for your misinformed pablum:
        "Liquidmetal has been available for commercial use since 2003. Apple signed the agreement in the middle of 2010. That is 7 years where every single smartphone manufacturer refused to use Liquidmetal. Why? William Farrel has an answer. You don't."

        First, again, his answer was DEMONSTRABLY wrong. Second, so is yours. You make up facts out of thin air to bolster your position, and assume no one will call you on your ignorance. And when they expose you for the fraud you are, you call them rude. But it is what it is. You don't know what you are talking about, and stating that in the open is not rude.

        No one used Liquid Metal? That's funny, better tell that to Liquid Metal technologies, because they seem to "think different". Since its introduction, the material has gone in to the construction of tens of millions of cell phones and parts, including over ten million hinges for flip phones and over two million cases.
        Again, you make these statements out of your own ignorance. You have never heard of a cell phone that used it, so you then state categorically that none have, without bothering to find out if your assumption is correct, because you are so self-absorbed that you feel if you haven't heard of it, it can't be so.

        "If you had politely made your point, you would only have looked uneducated. You chose to be extremely rude so now you look like an uneducated jerk."

        If you had bothered to do even a modicum of research, either of you, you would not have bothered to post at all (or maybe you would have anyway, hoping no one would call you out on your trolling). But you didn't, and posted your misinformation anyway.
        And you got busted.
        So who's the bigger jerk?

        (Oh, and PLEASE ask for cites, in the misguided belief that I can't provide them. I need the laugh. And research, Farrel? Really?!? You're calling me out on not doing research? If you had done 30 seconds of Google searches you might have had a bit more reticence and not bothered to post. Or maybe you were using Bing?)
      • Nicely done, deusexmachina??

        It certainly won't have any affect on behavior around here, but it is refreshing to see people being called out for their outlandish statements.
  • I want that Omega

    That thing is so nice... I'm torn between that and the Seamaster Aqua Terra. I've been working on my wife to agree to let me spend that on a watch. Of course the only reason I can think to have it is to pick up women, which probably wouldn't go over well with the wife.
  • Wow

    as Jeffrey implied I'm in shock that some people able to earn $7958 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you look at this link!!! <b>http://Gotoonlinejob.blogspot.in<b>