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Washington State University Applied Sciences Laboratory

Advanced Materials

The material performance is quite often the rate-limiting factor for the innovation of new technologies and products. Advanced materials with high performance and unique properties enable the development of new technologies and products, increasing the quality of our life in general. For example, the current internet and information age is made possible with the development of new materials such as optical fibers and semiconductor materials. As such, new enabling materials are continuously sought to achieve breakthroughs in energy, national security, and other technologies and products.

The focus of advanced materials at ASL is to design and develop new materials, particularly structural materials combined with novel functional properties. The research activities are driven by client specific applications covering development, processing, and characterization of novel alloys and composites. A particular research theme at ASL is to formulate new material chemistries and process them into novel microstructures. The decoupling of materials chemistries and their microstructures is a powerful tool to design new materials, which can combine ultra-high strength structural properties with other functional properties. This approach allows achieving unique material properties beyond the envelope of current materials.

Bulk Metallic Glasses (Bulk Amorphous Alloys) are a good example of this approach. These are a new class of metallic alloys with a novel amorphous atomic structure combined with a unique set of alloy formulations. The amorphous atomic structure provides very high yield strength in as-cast form, also a cost-effective net-shape manufacturing process for various high performance products. The alloy formulation can be tuned and optimized to achieve various functional properties such as corrosion resistance, biocompatibility, and magnetic properties.

For additional information on Bulk Metalic Glasses.