New metal alloy has highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal

A new ‘high-entropy’ metal alloy has been developed, and it’s as light as aluminium and as strong as titanium alloys. An international team of researchers has developed a new metal alloy that has a higher strength-to-weight ratio than any other known metal material on the planet. The team, from North Carolina State University in the US and Qatar University, combined lithium, magnesium, titanium, aluminium and scandium to make a nanocrystalline alloy that has low density, but extremely high strength.

The strength-to-weight ratio – also known as specific strength – relates to how long a piece of the material can be to suspend its own weight when held up vertically and supported only at the top. Strong but light, high specific strength metals such as titanium, aluminium, and magnesium are often used in aerospace design, where any increase in weight is a major concern. “The density is comparable to aluminum, but it is stronger than titanium alloys,” lead researcher and materials science and engineering professor at North Carolina State University, Carl Koch, said in a press release.

“It has a combination of high strength and low density that is, as far as we can tell, unmatched by any other metallic material. The strength-to-weight ratio is comparable to some ceramics, but we think it’s tougher – less brittle – than ceramics,” says Koch. Via New metal alloy has highest strength-to-weight ratio of any metal

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