Metallic Glasses


Amorphous foils as Metallic Glass

Metallic glasses are amorphous metals. They consist in different metal alloys, depending on their intend use. Applications as core material in power transformers or as active brazing foils for joining engineering ceramics are typically.


Metallic Glass as Brazing Foils

The metallically shining appearance is typical for the metallic glass foils. They look like aluminium foil as we know them from the household. However, tin-foils are produced under big energy involved by gradual roll down of the aluminium blocks. In contrast, the metallic glasses are manufactures by pouring the melt directly in one step onto the spinning wheel adjusting the desired thickness. This procedure is called Melt Spinning.

Video of “rippling ribbons” published to the Gallery of Fluid Motion of the71th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Fluid Dynamics.

Investigation on the structure of metallic glasses: 

Chain-like structure elements in Ni40Ta60 metallic glasses observed by scanning tunneling microscopy, R. Pawlak, L. Marot, A. Sadeghi, S. Kawai, Th. Glatzel, P. Reimann, S. Goedecker, H.-J. Güntherodt, E. Meyer, Nature Scientific reports, 5, (2015), 13143


Manufacturing Process

The liquid alloy is squeezed through a small slit at the nozzle bottom with light overload pressure onto the surface of a rotating copper wheel. The melt solidifies instantly. The typical cooling rate is 1 million degrees per second. The resulting metallic glass is amorphous and only about 50 micrometers thick. This specific foil production process directly from the melt without rolling is very efficient and saves a lot of energy. Applications as core material in power supplies and distribution transformers are typical. Energy-savings and improvements in the economy are the advantages. Further applications to use them as active brazing foils to join engineering ceramics are increasing.




Video showing the ribbon production



For more than 20 years the Department of Physics, in close collaboration with Endress+Hauser Maulburg (Germany) and Flowtec (Switzerland), has developed a specific metallic foil for industrial applications for sensor in pressure measurements (details above).

Metallic foils are used to welled ceramic parts from a pressure measurements system from Endress+Hauser.

Moreover, the use of these amorphous metallic ribbons and the collaboration with industry is explained here

And also on the University website.




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Department of Physics
University of Basel
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4056 Basel, Switzerland

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