In a new study, researchers at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found a new approach using nanotwinned titanium for sustainable manufacturing.

Phys.org report described Titanium as "robust and lightweight that boasts the highest strength to weight ratio of constructional material.

Nevertheless, processing it while retaining a good balance of ductility and strength, metal's ability to be drawn minus breaking, is quite challenging, not to mention costly. As a result, titanium has been downgraded to position uses in choosing industries.

Now, as recently reported in an online journal, the researchers found that they could utilize an approach known as cryo-forging to operate pure titanium on the scale of a billionth meter or nanometer at very low temperature to generate ultra-strong nanotwinned titanium minus sacrificing any of its ductility.

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Science Times - Nanotwinned Titanium: New Nanotech Approach for More Sustainable Manufacturing, Simpler Atom Movement
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Drawing depicting schematic of four different processes to make ZnO nanostructures


Nanotwinned Titanium

According to the study's project leader Andrew Minor, who's also the National Center for Electron at the Molecular Foundry, a Berkeley Lab nanoscience user facility, this research is the first time someone has generated a pure nanotwinned structure in a bulk material.

He added, with nanotwinned titanium, there's no longer a need to choose between ductility and strength but rather can attain both.

The metals' mechanical properties rely partly on their grains, small individual crystalline sites of repeating atomic patterns from the internal structure of the materials.

Restrictions between grains, where there are changes in patterns, toughen metals by preventing defects identified as dislocations from moving through and weakening the material's structure.

An example scenario could be the grains as streets and grain boundaries as spotlights that stop the atomic cars from passing.

Small Boundaries in Crystal Structure

As specified in the study published in Science, nano twins are a particular atomic arrangement type where the small boundaries in the crystal structure are lining up symmetrically, resembling mirror images of each other.

Meanwhile, going back to atomic roadways, the stoplights on the so-called grain "streets" turn to speedbumps with a nanotwinned structure, making it simpler for atoms to move around minus the buildup of stress while retaining heightened strength.

Researchers said nanotwinned materials are not new in nanotechnology. Nevertheless, making them usually necessitates specialized methods that can be expensive.

Such approaches have worked for metal sets like copper and are usually only used to develop thin films. Moreover, most of the time, thin-film properties are not translated to bulk materials.

Nanotwin Boundaries

To develop nanotwinned titanium, the researchers used a simple approach called cryo-forging that manipulates the metal's structure at very low temperatures.

This approach begins with a cube of pure titanium at 99.95 percent concentration, placed into liquid nitrogen at minus 321 degrees Fahrenheit.

A similar Mirage News said, while the cube is immersed, compression is used to each of the cube's axis. Under certain conditions, the material's structure starts forming nanotwin boundaries.

Essentially, the cube is heated later to 750 degrees Fahrenheit to eliminate any constructional deficiencies forming between the twin boundaries.

Lastly, the study investigators put a newly formed material using a series of stress tests. They also used the Molecular Foundry's electron microscopes to unveil its unique properties' source.

Related information about the nanotwinned project is shown on Nanotechnology and Nanomaterials' YouTube video below:

 

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