Amorphous metals: Properties and special features

Due to their unique material properties such as high strength combined with high elasticity, corrosion resistance and biocompatibility, amorphous metals open up completely new possibilities for engineers.

What are amorphous metals?

Picture crystalline Structure vs. Amorphous Structure

Amorphous metals are formed by the shock freezing of metallic melts. The atoms have no opportunity to form a crystalline lattice and solidify in a disordered manner (amorphous). Since the phase transformation from liquid to solid is suppressed in this process, no crystallization nuclei are formed during solidification. These defects in the lattice structure of conventional metals influence the mechanical and electromagnetic properties and lead, for example, to the material showing an increased tendency to corrosion, being brittle or cracking more quickly. 

Since amorphous metals do not have lattice structures, no grain and phase boundaries are formed. The material shows excellent mechanical properties, has above average corrosion resistance, is biocompatible and behaves isotropic. For this reason, metallic glasses, as amorphous metals are also called, are excellently suited for a variety of high-tech applications and are interesting, for example, for wear-resistant drive components, stable suspensions, diaphragms for sensor technology or housings for consumer electronics.

Learn more about the application possibilities of amorphous metals .

Our offer: Amorphous alloys from Heraeus AMLOY

Our portfolio includes amorphous alloys based on zirconium and copper. In addition, we are currently researching alloys based on titanium and platinum.

Our customer service will be happy to advise you on the right material for your project. Please contact us!

Material data of amorphous alloys from Heraeus AMLOY:

Zirconium-based Zirconium-based Copper-based
Name AMLOY-ZR01 AMLOY-ZR02 AMLOY-CU01
Density (g/cm3) 6,68 6,60 6,89
Liquidus temperature (°C) 920 830 870
Solidus temperature (°C) 870 781 770
Glass transition temperature Tg (°C) 400 403 410
Crystalization temperature Tx (°C) 475 469 465
Crystallization entahlpy ∆H (J/g) -47 -47 -47
Young‘s modulus (GPa) 87 89 115
Poisson‘s ratio 0,35 0,37 N/A
Bending yield strength (GPa) 2,3 2 2,9
Tensile yield strength (GPa) 1,6 1,7 N/A
Compressive yield strength (GPa) 1,7 1,6 N/A
Vickers Hardness (HV5) 480 540 580
AMLOY-ZR01 AMLOY-ZR02 AMLOY-CU01

Amorphous metals: Technical properties

Amorphous metals offer properties in a unique combination not found in conventional materials.

Mechanical

  • High strength combined with excellent elasticity (twice higher than steel)
  • High surface quality
  • High hardness and low abrasion (comparable to ceramic)
  • Isotropic properties
  • Low electrical conductivity

Due to these properties, amorphous metals can be used well for components that are subject to high stress, such as hinges or gear parts.

Amorphous metals - pushing limits of materials performance
Amorphous metals vs. steel: In our video we show you how elastic amorphous metals are compared to steel.

High magnetic permeability

  • Electrical resistance is almost temperature independent
  • Easy to magnetize and demagnetize

These properties make amorphous metals ideal for use in electric motors and EMI shielding applications.

Chemical and medical

  • High corrosion resistance due to the absence of grain boundaries and crystalline structures
  • Biocompatibility of some alloys (ISO 10993-5 and ISO 10993-12 certified)

Due to these properties, amorphous metals can be used excellently for medical instruments or implants but also for components in corrosive environments.

Do you have questions about the properties of amorphous metals and their application possibilities? Our customer service will be happy to assist you!