News & Views

Design of Hybrid Materials

By Rebecca Gurk on Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

EWI’s Materials team is working to advance hybrid materials designs that have uniquely deployable, value-added applications for manufacturers.

Hybrid materials are those that leverage more than one traditional material in a designed, heterogeneous matrix to yield properties that a single material cannot obtain. They offer unique advantages over their traditional materials since they advance properties from more manufacturing savvy techniques.

Some of the hybrid materials being investigated by EWI’s Materials team include:

  • Metallic-Glass Composites – These leverage the strength and corrosion properties of metallic glasses with the toughness of crystalline metallics. They could offer significant advantages for protective coatings such as armor, erosion corrosion buriers, etc.
  • Structural Ceramics – These allow for the use of ceramic and ceramic-like materials for structural, load bearing components. The technical advancements for this application is the ability to permanently join ceramics to each other and to other metallic materials using conventional welding and joining techniques. The primary applications for these are envisioned to be thermal protection systems, wear resistant components, etc.
  • Thermally Stable Skins – A thermally stable skin is theoretically a thin metallic material with a non-conductive layer epitaxially grown on its surface. These hybrid materials have specific uses in applications such as fire protection, aerospace and thermally unstable environments.

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