Imagine a world where metals had the ability to heal themselves, repairing cracks and wear and tear over time. No, this is not science fiction, but a reality recently discovered in a New Mexico laboratory. The discovery could have applications in a variety of fields, from space exploration to the automotive industry.
Discovery of self-repairing metals
a team of scientists Sandia National Laboratories An amazing phenomenon has been observed in New Mexico. While investigating metal fatigue, he found that a platinum sheet with a visible crack healed itself. The crack, which was first clearly visible under the electron microscope, has completely disappeared, leaving the metal as good as new. A similar phenomenon was also observed with copper.
The interesting thing about this process is that the repair room temperature, researchers call it cold welding, a process that requires no heat or electricity. This occurs when two metal surfaces are brought so close together that the atoms at the ends of the crack come together to form a smooth surface. It’s a simple matter of atoms wanting to connect.
In the space
Since the study was done in a vacuum, one of the first applications may be for components that work in a vacuum. vacuum of space, NASA has already shown interest in this search.
In the industry
Las solder joint In electronics and rotating machinery, such as shafts or ball bearings in motors or generators, can benefit from this technology. Its application in large infrastructure is still being studied, but scientists do not rule out this possibility.
Materials science has taken a bold step in a direction that was previously considered only the realm of imagination. The ability to heal metals could change the way we design and maintain our machines and infrastructure, taking durability and sustainability to a new level.