Beyond MIM. New metal forming technology created.


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JellyJar
March 7, 2011, 01:49 PM
Lots of discussions about the merits of MIM parts can be found on this forum and elsewhere. People I know are convinced that MIM parts are inferior to forged parts but many say that if done right there is nothing wrong with MIM parts.

Well if the new technology talked about in the link below is correct then even MIM parts will someday be a part of the past:

http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2011-03/researchers-create-blow-moldable-metals-are-stronger-steel

Metal parts stronger than steel that can be molded as easily as plastic.

I bet that in the future we will see firearms made with all metal parts molded like plastic using the above technology.

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Bubbles
March 7, 2011, 03:45 PM
I bet that in the future we will see firearms made with all metal parts molded like plastic using the above technology.
I don't know, some firearm parts get pretty hot and are subjected to fairly high pressures, though for a short duration. I'd worry about critical components, like a barrel, warping under rapid fire.

Still, it's a cool idea for internal parts that aren't subjected to high temps and pressures.

JohnBT
March 7, 2011, 05:30 PM
There was a manufacturer using a metallic glass process to make club heads for drivers in the late 1990s. I don't know if they're still using the process.

It appears it's a real pain to make metallic glass, but it looks like they've figured out some of the ways to mix the right proportions of atoms of different sizes and then to get the quick-cooling cycle right so a lattice doesn't form.

We'll see what happens I suppose.

Jesse Heywood
March 7, 2011, 09:57 PM
There was a manufacturer using a metallic glass process to make club heads for drivers in the late 1990s.

Is it as hard to make as transparent aluminum? :D

I bet that in the future we will see firearms made with all metal parts molded like plastic using the above technology.

Possibly. When dealing with new technology, there are many variables. A lot of testing to convince skeptical engineers that the product will perform as promised. And companies that have invested in MIM that must now cost justify an expensive upgrade.

Manco
March 7, 2011, 10:10 PM
Stronger than steel, huh? :scrutiny: I'll believe it when I see it, regarding firearms applications, as there are plenty of materials that are "stronger than steel" (as hyped to the lay public) that I wouldn't recommend using in most applications in which steel is used. More than a few such "wonder" materials began to reveal unexpected problems over time that ultimately limited their versatility. I wouldn't get too excited just yet, but we'll see. If it's just replacements for MIM parts, then no big deal.

oneounceload
March 7, 2011, 10:13 PM
Stronger than steel, huh? I'll believe it when I see it, regarding firearms applications, as there are plenty of materials that are "stronger than steel" that I wouldn't recommend using in most applications in which steel is used

There are a few high-end makers using titanium - stronger and lighter than steel - more difficult to machine, but the product is stronger than steel

jerkface11
March 7, 2011, 10:15 PM
Is it as hard to make as transparent aluminum?
http://www.geekologie.com/2010/09/the_future_is_now_transparent.php

fletcher
March 7, 2011, 11:26 PM
While they may find niche applications for components, materials like this are very expensive and won't likely be used in any substantial quantity for firearms.

As an aside (reference to above), titanium is not stronger than steel, but it has very good strength-to-weight and is high strength.

wally
March 7, 2011, 11:44 PM
There are a few high-end makers using titanium

Like Taurus:evil:


Stronger than steel claims are usually based on strength per unit weight, if I recall only a few very hard to make carbon fiber types can make the claim to be stronger than steel per unit cross-section.

Maybe titanium is one of them.

Manco
March 8, 2011, 05:04 AM
There are a few high-end makers using titanium - stronger and lighter than steel - more difficult to machine, but the product is stronger than steel

I'm afraid that it's not that simple. Regarding yield strength, titanium is stronger than steel per weight, that's true. However, for a given volume (how most people would make a comparison) steel and titanium have approximately the same yield strength, but steel is far stiffer (approximately twice), and stiffness per volume can be more critical than ultimate yield strength, depending on the application. That's just a general example.

My point was that having certain superlative qualities does not necessarily mean that one material can always replace another. Often a narrow set of applications limited to certain conditions is made to seem more broad either by marketing (which includes articles in "gee-whiz" publications) or wishful thinking. Graphite-epoxy composites, to take another example, are said to be even lighter and stronger than titanium, but that doesn't mean that they can always replace titanium, either--even for the skin of an aircraft. When you get to a certain speed, which implies a certain temperature range, titanium becomes favorable, and when you get faster than that, then stainless steel may actually win out over titanium, despite the weight penalty (if you want the vehicle to be strong and durable, unlike the brittle Space Shuttle, anyway).

By the way, here is a related discussion about titanium use in firearms if you're interested (of course, I'd link to my own post ;)):

http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?p=4447176#post4447176

One of the best subjects for learning about materials properties from a practical and not overly technical point of view is cycling (specifically bicycle frame design and construction).

JohnBT
March 8, 2011, 10:00 AM
www.liquidmetal.com/index/default.asp

"Lindsey Vonn wins Olympic Gold with HEAD/Liquidmetal Skis"

"OMEGA & World-Premiere LIQUIDMETAL®Technology"

"Liquidmetal® Rawlings Plasma Fusion bat"


www.liquidmetal.com/applications/dsp.sporting.asp

"Liquidmetal Technologies is working on development agreements with several major sporting goods manufacturers, where potential applications include:

Golf Clubs
Tennis Rackets
Baseball and Softball Bats
Skis and Snowboards
Knives
Bicycles
Scuba Gear
Guns and Gun Equipment
Fishing Equipment
Marine Applications"

BBQLS1
March 8, 2011, 11:12 AM
Like Taurus:evil:


Stronger than steel claims are usually based on strength per unit weight, if I recall only a few very hard to make carbon fiber types can make the claim to be stronger than steel per unit cross-section.

Maybe titanium is one of them.

Carbon fiber is used to make the drive shafts for NHRA Pro-stock cars. 1400 Horsepower propelling a 2350 lb race car to 200 MPH in around 6.5 seconds. That's pretty tough if you ask me.

NMGonzo
March 8, 2011, 11:27 AM
Good luck with your 10 ounce .44 magnum pocket revolver :D

230RN
March 9, 2011, 03:38 AM
^ http://www.loesch.org/~arviel/hysterical.gif

Walkalong
March 9, 2011, 10:58 AM
Very interesting. It could have applications in small parts. Time will tell.

Desolo
March 9, 2011, 12:09 PM
"Do you REALLY and I mean REALLY hate yourself? Try the new Feather-scandium-titanium-plasti-ium .44 micro snub!, who needs functioning hands and wrists!?!"

Drail
March 9, 2011, 10:44 PM
Yeah, I love this craze everyone seems to have for ultra flyweight rare element hi tech alloy handguns. Just because it's possible to build a .44 Mag handgun that will dislocate your wrist with one shot doesn't necessarily mean that it is a good idea. As a former smith I have always hated alloy firearms.:barf:

armoredman
March 9, 2011, 11:20 PM
Hmm, not a flyweight 44mag, but a double action version of the NAA mini revolver in 5.7mm...

230RN
March 10, 2011, 12:32 PM
If the gun weighs the same as the bullet it will be just as dangerous as the bullet.

Terry said that.

Got as high as 125 gr +P .38s in my scandium chambered for .357. That was the upper limit for me, and I can deal with reg'lar 158gr .38s.

The l'il flinchmaker.

Unfortunately, over the decades I have found that most of the technical advances touted by a new process/technique/product are manufactured by the marketing departments of the companies involved.

Think: "New, Improved, Distilled Water."

Skeptical much, Terry?

Yup. But still open-minded. (With one eyebrow raised.)

Terry, 230RN

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