Posted by The Guardian on Monday, April 06, 2019 10:01:16In a world where aluminum is a precious commodity, scientists have been working hard to develop new materials to replace the brittle and fragile metal used in electronics and plastics.
But despite the progress, most of the materials used in these devices are made of a different, more brittle, metal, making them vulnerable to cracking, a process known as thermal expansion.
But it turns out that a new material made from a single-atom-thick (0.00005 mm) layer of aluminum is already being used in a range of devices that are very similar to those that were already being made, according to a study published this week in the journal Science.
A team of researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the University at Buffalo, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has developed a new, lightweight and very effective way to make aluminum from a new metal.
“We’re using the same materials we’ve been using for decades,” says study leader Dr. Michael Mathers, an associate professor of mechanical engineering at the University, who is the lead author of the paper.
“That is, we’re making a single atomic layer of the new material, and we’re using that to form an aluminum sheet.”
So, for example, a device with a copper foil layer and a nickel alloy in the middle of the aluminum would have to have more than 3,000 individual atoms of aluminum to make the same amount of device.
“Using this process, the researchers created a new type of aluminum-based device that uses an aluminum-coated copper foil to provide thermal expansion support.”
The new device is much thinner and lighter than the traditional aluminum foil, which is a lot lighter than copper foil, and it has a very small thermal expansion defect,” Mather is quoted by The Associated Press as saying.”
This new aluminum-modified copper foil device is also much stronger than the copper foil.
So it’s very robust and it’s much less prone to thermal expansion than copper.
“This is the first time a single atom of aluminum has been used in the manufacturing of an aluminum device.
The new material also has a much higher melting point than copper, which makes it easier to form a surface coat of aluminum in a metalworking process.”
The researchers also made a copper-based metal with aluminum and a copper coating that they used to form the device.””
We’ve created an extremely lightweight aluminum device.”
The researchers also made a copper-based metal with aluminum and a copper coating that they used to form the device.
“What’s great about this is that it’s a new approach to making a metal,” says Mather.
“If you have a lot of aluminum and you want to make a device that has a lot more aluminum, this material can make a great substitute.”
The new materials could also be used to replace certain types of materials, such as plastics, Mather said.
“If we can create a material that is very strong, has good thermal expansion resistance and is very cheap to produce, then we can make very thin, lightweight devices with much greater power density,” Mudds said.
“And because the materials are so light, the devices can be more flexible and very lightweight.”
The scientists have also created a device based on the new materials that could be used in smartphones and other mobile devices.
Mather is also a member of the University’s Materials Sciences Institute, which was established in the late 1990s to support research in this field.
Midds and his co-authors, who also include senior author Dr. David Fuchs, a materials scientist at USGS, worked with a number of other researchers to create the new aluminum material.
“There is an inherent strength of the material,” he says.
“But it is very difficult to make this material.
This is the work of a very, very small group of researchers.”
The materials scientists have created a process that could potentially be used for making other materials.
The research team hopes to develop other ways to make new materials.
“These materials have been used for many years for a variety of applications,” Madds says, “including a very low-cost, very high-performance composite material.”
For more information on the research, visit the University Science website.