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Created the durable metal alloy in the world

American engineers from Sandia national laboratories argue that they managed to create the most durable metal alloy, which wear resistance is a hundred times superior to the high-strength steel. The famous combination of gold and platinum, but made anew, was the first alloy that has properties comparable to diamond. In addition, new material naturally produces lubrication, the cost of which in normal conditions is too high.

American engineers from Sandia national laboratories argue that they managed to create the most durable metal alloy, which wear resistance is a hundred times superior to the high-strength steel. The famous combination of gold and platinum, but made anew, was the first alloy that has properties comparable to diamond. In addition, new material naturally produces lubrication, the cost of which in normal conditions is too high.

Interestingly, experiments with platinum and gold have been carried out earlier, but hitherto such alloys have not been tested for strength with enough curious intensity. The fact that the traditional representation of the material’s resistance to wear depends on its hardness, and this combination of metals can not boast of this indicator.

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However, in the new work, John Curry (Curry, John) and his colleagues have developed a fundamentally new approach. They have created an alloy with the usual 90% platinum and 10% gold, which in a certain way reacts to heat, allowing it a long time is not deformed by friction. It was achieved by changing the energy of the grain boundary material by the segregation (the process associated with changing the properties, composition and structure of surface layers of atoms).

Experts have used computer simulations to study the possible microstructure at the level of individual atoms at different combination of source materials. Based on this analysis, they selected for the real test alloys resistant to temperature effects.

“In the development of many traditional alloys increase the strength of the material was achieved by reducing grain size, – said Curry in a press release. – Still under extreme voltage and temperature, many of them will expand or soften, especially with the accumulation of fatigue. But in the case of our alloy, you can see excellent mechanical and thermal stability without significant changes of the microstructure during very long periods of cyclic stress associated with friction”.

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According to the authors of the study, if a new alloy has been manufactured tyres for drift competitions, in which riders cornering in a controlled drift and very quickly wash the tires, the car on these wheels would 500 times around the Earth at the equator.

During testing we found another amazing feature of the new material. The friction on the surface itself was formed of a black film, which was a modification of the diamond-like carbon. Is artificial turf, at the same time smooth as graphite and hard as diamond, usually acts as a very effective lubricant, but it is produced by complex high-temperature vacuum chamber.

“We believe that the stability and high resistance to wear allows carbon-containing molecules from the environment to adhere to the alloy, to deteriorate during sliding, and ultimately forming a diamond-like carbon,” explains Curry.

Thus, it is the spontaneous emergence of lubrication not only prolongs the service life of the material, but also can be an alternative method of production.

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