NEW FAMILY OF SUPER-HARD MATERIALS


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Scientists at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania have used data science, also known as informatics, to create a new class of super-hard alloys that could lead to crash-resistant vehicles and better protection for soldiers in combat. 

The researchers used a variety of sophisticated computer algorithms that compared and correlated the properties of different materials and then suggested combinations of materials that would enhance each other’s hardness. Then the team made test batches of the new materials and examined their molecular structure to verify factors such as structural integrity.

TRENDPOST: The tools that the scientists developed can be used widely by investigators looking into so-called “high-entropy alloys” – previously untested combinations of materials which yield unusual properties such as startling toughness or electrical conductivity. By 2025, high-entropy alloys will become crucial structural elements in military vehicles and, by 2030, will be making their way into vehicle chassis and other consumer products.

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