Recent Progress in the Industrialization of Metallic Glasses
Eugen M. Axinte,
Marius P.I. Chirileanu.
Metallic Glasses (MGs), also called glassy metals (amorphous metals, liquid metals) are considered to be the
materials of the future. Metallic glasses, formed at very low critical cooling rates, are different from traditional amorphous
alloys (which are usually formed at high cooling rates) in order to avoid crystallization. The most important feature of
MGs, which distinguishes them from ordinary amorphous materials, is the glass transition that transforms super cooled
liquids into a glassy state when cooled from high to low temperature. Some scientists have been investigating the mechanisms
and dynamics of metallic glass formation, their atomic structure, micromechanisms of mechanical properties, etc.
They have also been exploring the atomic-scale mechanisms of MG formation and the development of new bulk glassy alloys
and composites with improved glass-forming ability. Other scientists focus on manufacturing and industrialization of
MGs. At the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), there are currently more than 30 groups working on the science,
preparation and applications of MGs. The Amorphous Materials and Physics Group at CAS has developed a series of rare
earth-based RE-MGs with functional physical properties. In the US, there are science groups that have made successful
progress in the area of metallic glasses. More specifically, the US-based team from Yale and the science group from Caltech
are more focused on practical aspects relating to MGs (production, industrialization, biomedical materials and aerospace
materials). This patent review article briefly investigates the industrialization and some environmental aspects of
MGs, as follows: biocompatibility of most MGs, obtaining valuable MGs from low-purity industrial raw materials, use of
MGs in green energy applications (solar cells, hydrogen production), use of MGs in catalyst systems and possibilities for
using metallic glasses in systems for retention and purification of dangerous pollutants.
Keywords: Aerospace, atomic structure, biomedical, defence, environmental, glass forming ability, green energy, metallic
glasses, new alloys, processing, solar cells, hydrogen production
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