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Published February 8, 2016 | Published
Journal Article Open

Shaping metallic glasses by electromagnetic pulsing


With damage tolerance rivalling advanced engineering alloys and thermoplastic forming capabilities analogous to conventional plastics, metallic glasses are emerging as a modern engineering material. Here, we take advantage of their unique electrical and rheological properties along with the classic Lorentz force concept to demonstrate that electromagnetic coupling of electric current and a magnetic field can thermoplastically shape a metallic glass without conventional heating sources or applied mechanical forces. Specifically, we identify a process window where application of an electric current pulse in the presence of a normally directed magnetic field can ohmically heat a metallic glass to a softened state, while simultaneously inducing a large enough magnetic body force to plastically shape it. The heating and shaping is performed on millisecond timescales, effectively bypassing crystallization producing fully amorphous-shaped parts. This electromagnetic forming approach lays the groundwork for a versatile, time- and energy-efficient manufacturing platform for ultrastrong metals.

Additional Information

© 2016 Nature Publishing Group. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 19 October 2015; Accepted 30 December 2015; Published 08 February 2016. We gratefully acknowledge partial support by the II-VI Foundation and Glassimetal Technology, and useful discussions with Konrad Samwer and Joseph P. Schramm. Author contributions: G.K. and S.R. conducted the electromagnetic forming experiments and imaging analysis, G.K., M.D.D. and W.L.J. wrote the main manuscript. Additional information: Competing financial interests: M.D.D. and W.L.J. are co-founders of Glassimetal Technology, Inc.

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