Better sensors? New metal alloys respond to magnetic field

Nanostructured metal alloys can turn electrical and magnetic energy into movement, report Rutgers scientists.
Written by Boonsri Dickinson, Contributing Editor

Metal that is springy might sound a bit weird to you, but researchers at Rutgers University have inserted nanoparticles into metal alloys...giving the rigid material a little more bounce. The spring-like property in materials could be useful in a number of applications, especially for sensors and switches.

In a statement, researchers at Rutgers said:

The alloys could be used in springier blood vessel stents, sensitive microphones, powerful loudspeakers, and components that boost the performance of medical imaging equipment, security systems and clean-burning gasoline and diesel engines.

Not to mention, the materials are super-responsive - as in a hundred times more responsive. It responds to electric or magnetic fields and converts that energy into movement. What's good about this new type of material is that it snaps back into shape after it is deformed, and this makes it have a better overall energy efficiency.

But it's all theory for now. The new metals will have a lot to prove in future experiments.

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