Check out this video that compares the elastic properties — in particular, the resilience or the amount of stored elastic energy — of three materials: an amorphous alloy, stainless steel and titanium. The video is from Liquidmetal Technologies, a California based company founded to commercialize the research on amorphous alloys (or metallic glasses) conducted at Caltech by Prof. William L. Johnson. Do check out the Liquidmetal website; there is a wealth of materials-oriented information (including applications of amorphous alloys) there.
The iMechanica site is a treasure. The good folks there post not only their recent papers and preprints, but also stuff that’s of interest to a general audience as well. Let me just link to a bunch of these general purpose things that appeared there recently:
- Advice to a young physicist by Walther Bothe.
- 12 steps to a winning research proposal by George A. Hazelrigg of the National Science Foundation.
- Links to “10 Simple Rules” for writing papers and getting published, writing grants, reviewing, …
In addition, there are course notes on offer:
- Mechanical properties of thin films by Bill Nix.
- Nonlinear fracture mechanics by John W. Hutchinson.
Here are some links that should interest materials people:
- Ranking of mechanics-related journals (as of 2004).
- Most cited papers in solid and computational mechanics.
And finally, here are some tips for finding information on iMechanica:
“If you look closely at the structure of spider silk, it is filled with a lot of very small crystals,” said Gareth McKinley, a professor of mechanical engineering and part of the group that devised the new method of producing the material.
“It’s highly reinforced.”
The secret of spider silk’s combined strength and flexibility, according to scientists, has to do with the arrangement of the nano-crystalline reinforcement of the silk as it is being produced—in other words, the way these tiny crystals are oriented towards (and adhere to) the stretchy protein.
Emulating this process in a synthetic polymer, the MIT team focused on reinforcing solutions of commercial rubbery substance known as polyurethane elastomer with nano-sized clay platelets instead of simply heating the mixing the molten plastics with reinforcing agents.