Innovative materials and technology transfer represent are effective tools to support product innovation. The amorphous metals case history is a key example of how mass markets may benefit from technologies initially developed for space applications.
The MITT® methodology - Materials Innovation and Technology Transfer - has been developed and adopted by MaTech since 2001 to define the guidelines that both large and SME may follow to search, identify and apply new materials and process technology into innovative products.
An new methodology to classify materials according to functional performances was also developed within the MITT.
AMORPHOUS METALS FOR THE EUROPEAN INDUSTRY
Amorphous metals are a family of innovative alloys that have a typical amorphous, disordered atomic structure. For this reason they are better known in the academic world as glassy metals.
The amorphous structure can be obtained by super cooling the special melt alloy, thus preventing the solidification from building the crystalline structure. Amorphous metals do not present grain borders and shows very specific characteristics: elastic elongation is about 2%, while most popular steels are in the area of 0,1%; surface hardness is also quite high, ranging from 600 Vickers and up to 2000 HRV when amorphous powder coatings are used. Strength to weight ratio may be more than double than conventional titanium; corrosion resistance is also very high.
The manufacturing process is one of the most interesting advantages of this material. As the thermal expansion coefficient is very low, amorphous metals can be injected in mould like polymers obtaining net-shape components and thus definitely reducing machining costs.
Amorphous metals also exist as powders and wires for surface coatings, to be applied by HVOF, TWAS and TIG process. They show very high performances in low friction coefficient, high temperature, high abrasion application.
TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER CASE HISTORY
Amorphous metal alloy compositions, manufacturing process and related machinery have been initially developed and patented by Liquidmetal Technologies, Inc. and Caltech University in California, for space and defense applications.
As the technology became available for commercial applications in mid ’00, MaTech started a long term Technology Transfer project to introduce the technology to the European and Italian markets, as the only manufacturing plant was initially located in Korea.
In 2006 a joint venture between Liquidmetal Technologies and SAGA Spa,
called LSI, was been founded and the first European plant was started in early 2007 in Padova.
This aerospace part was cast of Liquidmetal
by the LSI Joint Venture from a mold
designed by Saga Plastics resulting from the
technology transfer initiated by Nicola Belli
For further details, contact the founder of MaTech, Nicola Belli,
Born in Adria, province of Rovigo, in 1967. He graduated in Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bologna with a thesis on the competition vehicle design.
He has worked at the following companies: Ferrari Engineering Spa, as project engineer in 1994. Ferrari Auto Spa – Space Division, as Project Manager in 1996.
He then moved to Benetton Sporsystem Spa, as material research project leader, in 1998. In 2000 he joined Benetton Group Spa as Research & Innovation Manager, responsible for technological transfer from the Formula 1 team to the Sport Division.
Technical Advisor to the International Olympic Committee for the Winter Olympics of Nagano in 1998 and Salt Lake City in 2002.
Materials Researcher for FISI - Italian Winter Sports Federation - from 1993 to 1999.
Materials Researcher for Federation Monegasque de Bobsleigh from 1999 to 2002.
Competition Director of the Italian National Bob Team from 2002 to 2004.
Since 2001, he has worked as Technical Director for MaTech - Innovative Materials - Galileo Scientific and Technological Park Scpa - based in Padova.
Accordo Liquidmetal - SAGA
MaTech – Materiali Innovativi
Corso Stati Uniti 14 bis
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