A team of scientists claims to have produced the epitome of all metals.
It is said to be such a tough and lightweight material that it can potentially pave the way for the manufacture of much faster-travelling motor vehicles.
Just imagine how something like that could innovate industries like air, road and rail transport.
Engineers from University of California in Los Angeles incorporated a mix of magnesium and ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles to make this possible.
This new type of metal possesses such a stiffness to weight ratio that easily beats all other strong materials.
It is not only able to absorb but also resist high levels of heat while maintaining its original form.
Nanoparticles are known as a partial segment of a given material, which is a maximum of 100 nanometers in size.
That roughly translates to a billionth of one meter, so it is hardly visible to the human eye. Once it is scaled down to a tiny size, the material undergoes chemical and physical changes.
Nanoparticles of silicon carbide are infused in a molten magnesium zinc.
Just to put everything into perspective, silicon carbide is a hard ceramic that often comes handy in trimming blades.
It constitutes as much as 86 percent of magnesium and 14 percent of silicon carbide.
A professor of manufacturing and engineering from UCLA named Xiaochun Li highlights the prospects of the metal: “It’s been proposed that nanoparticles could enhance the strength of metals without damaging their plasticity, especially light metals like magnesium but no groups have been able to disperse ceramic nanoparticles in molten metals until now.”
Magnesium is readily available in huge amounts which means that it is not tough to produce this material without damaging the environment.
Although load bearing metal used to manufacture motor cars is considered a diluted variant of this metal, it does seem similar to this metal.
Image source: REUTERS/MAX ROSSI