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back to article Ten... mad materials made into tech

Whether they're attempting to increase durability, lower production costs or simply impress with aesthetics, manufacturers are always looking for new materials to build their tech with. Apple was this week rumoured to be coating the iPhone 5 in Liquidmetal, a metal alloy with the structure of glass that can be injection moulded …

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Anonymous Coward

Bling? I GOT YOUR BLING RIGHT HERE!

I want somebody to make a phone with a vapor-deposition diamond case. Great thermal conductivity, Insanity-Wolf level scratch resistance, you can see the guts.

So what if it would be insanely expensive - isn't that what bling is all about, showing you have more money than sense?

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Silver badge

Re: Bling? I GOT YOUR BLING RIGHT HERE!

Not diamond, but you can get a sapphire screen.

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Tech threads for tech heads?

Is that what teletubbies look like when they grow up?

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Anonymous Coward

Kevlar

My Mrs has a Razr (Kevlar with Gorilla Glass)... She still bought a case for it... Old habits and all that!

(Anon in case she sees this!)

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Not quite what I expected

While this is sort of interesting on a Stuff Mag level I was hoping it was about the science of the materials used for tech internals... rare earth metals etc

Unless vanity goods... only a very very small number of people would buy and use this stuff because the rest of us wouldn't dare take a $4,000 gaget out of the safe deposit box even if we could afford it. I guess you could call a 5 mill ipad art but it's no longer fit for purpose lol

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Anonymous Coward

Well most of that utter mindless tat is obviously bought by money-rich/time-poor cretins. That Porsche designed blackberry for example, looks absolutely awful. iPad 2 with bezels made from rare materials and 6 months later, the tech is out of date and the device is effectively worthless otehr than the bragging rights to say you once had such and such. Like most of this sort of crap, so long as it has a genuine logo stamped on it the rich twats will buy it simply for bragging rights amongst their equally vacuous mates. As Victor Meldrew once said, "That sort would wear a dog turd around their necks if it was fashionable."

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Headmaster

"We want a laptop crafted from a slither of Mars and we want it now."

A "sliver of Mars", shurely?

Unless, of course, you meant a fragment from one of the 1920s Martian invasion force's geosnakes. In which case fair enough.

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Happy

Re: "Slither of Mars"

iWriggle?

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Pint

Palm twees ... bam-boo.

Bamboo used to be used to make the finest slide rules way back when. It's a pretty stunning material.

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WTF?

Liquid Metal

"...Liquidmetal, a metal alloy with the structure of glass..."

I'm doubtless missing something here but, why is this a selling point?

metal alloy = not transparent

structure of glass = breaks, if you drop it

Looks like the worst of both worlds, to me.

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Bronze badge

Re: Liquid Metal

Instead of equating it to glass, consider Perspex (Plexiglas if you're from the US), instead, this also has a glassy amorphous structure but you wouldn't expect it to shatter if you dropped it.

I think the interesting properties of this material as far as Apple are concerned are that it can be injection moulded, its very strong and has extremely good wear resistance.

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Boffin

Re: Liquid Metal

Glass isn't fragile because of it's amorphous structure, it's fragile because there is very little bond strength between particles.

Metals are a lot stronger than glass because they have a lot stronger bond structure, but actually crystalline metal is more brittle than amorphous metal. A crystal structure has specific weak points where the material can fail if hid hard enough in just the right point / just the right angle, while amorphous metal structure doesn't have these failure points and is a lot stronger. (I'm not sure of the exact mechanics, but I would speculate that this is especially true at colder temperatures where metals are more brittle)

Incidentally amorphous metal is nothing new, been known about since the 70s I think, what Liquidmetal(TM) has done is found a technique to injection-mold it cheaply.

As a phone casing - well I doubt that a typical phone gets that much abuse that would justify using Liquidmetal over normal metal simply to boast that it's using a fancy material, but if Apple can use Liquidmetal to build a casing that's thinner and lighter wit teh same strength and use that to fit in a slightly bigger battery it would be a win

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Silver badge

Sir

but you wouldn't expect it to shatter if you dropped it.

You gotta be fucking kidding me, when perspex shatters it creates millions of tiny little shards. We hoovered the kitchen about 10 times to stop the dog getting any in her paws, and we were still finding bits of it weeks later as it caught a different beam of light.

Shatterproof my arse - it should be classed as a fucking explosive material.

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Boffin

You have that "kevlar" razr phone?

Ask for your money back - it's NOT Kevlar(tm) it's boring old ordinary carbon fibre.

Kevlar fibres are a pale goldy-yellow, and as a matted laminate are most often a bronzy-brown colour. There is a reason why Kevlar sails on yachts look copper-brown - that's what colour kevlar is.

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Silver badge

I think it's a sign of the time...

When we are actually talking about the _material_ the cases of devices are made out of, not their actual functionality.

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Oh the shame

..I should fess up I actually quite like the look of the stainless steel blackberry.

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Nothing to see here...

What about something really cool ? Like Pykrete ?

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