Bulk Metallic Glass (BMG)

Bulk Metallic Glass is a new type of amorphous metal with unique features. Conventional amorphous metal could only be used to make thin and small items because it crystallizes unless rapidly cooled from the molten alloy state.
Bulk Metallic Glass, however, solidifies without crystallization even if cooled down slowly from the molten alloy state, so relatively large bulk products can be fabricated, expanding the range of applications for industrial use.
In addition, Bulk Metallic Glass has several excellent mechanical properties, such as high strength, low Young’s modulus, high transferability, and excellent corrosion resistance.
Utilizing these characteristics makes application possible in a variety of fields, such as high-precision components, exterior components, sensors, springs, sports equipment, and biomaterials.

BMG’s superior features: high-precision transfer

When cooling from liquid state, no solidification shrinkage occurs, and it solidifies into a non-crystalline state.

Good dimensional accuracy & high molding transfer precision

The above chart shows the relationship between the temperature and volume of BMG. (Red line: BMG, Blue line: normal metal).
When cooling from liquid state, normal metal undergoes solidification shrinkage associated with crystallization, which results in a reduced volume.
BMG, however, solidifies in non-crystalline state. Therefore, the surface of the mold can be fully transferred, and parts can be manufactured with high dimensional accuracy.

BMG’s molding transfer precision

Photos of the mold’s surface and the casting surface.

The processed pattern on the mold’s surface is fully transferred onto the casting’s surface.


EDM

Polished


BMG’s molding transfer precision

Normal metal has grain boundaries as shown in the above figure, which can be starting points for corrosion. BMG, however, doesn’t have grain boundaries, and a continuous passive film forms on the surface. Therefore, it doesn’t corrode easily, even in harsh environments.


BMG’s physical properties

Item(unit) Zr-BMG physical properties
Composition(wt%):Zr67.02Cu25.46Ni3.92Al3.60
(at%):Zr55Cu30Al10Ni5
Density(g/cm3 6.8
Tensile strength(MPa) 1620
Vickers hardness (Hv) 520
Young’s modulus (GPa) 81
Resistivity (μΩ/cm 20℃) 250 - 260
Melting point (℃) 890
Glass-transition temp. (℃) 410
Thermal expansion coefficient (E-6/℃) 10.9
Thermal conductivity (W/M・K) 5.5
Specific heat (J/kg・K) 0.33
Electrical conductivity (%) 1

BMG micro gear

Moldable by near net shape

BMG process flow

BMG is produced by injection molding, in which the alloy is melted and injected into a mold.
All processes from alloy preparation to production are handled in-house at our facilities.


Applications


BMG’s superior features

BMG is expected to be applicable in a variety of fields due to its superior features such as high strength, precision mold transferability, corrosion resistance, and flexibility.

Micro gear

By using BMG, it is possible to produce high-precision and complex micro gears. Conventional metal gears have size limitations and are difficult to achieve complicated shapes with, while resin gears cannot bear high loads.
In contrast, utilizing BMG’s features allows for the production of highly durable, precision micro gears.
As a result, we successfully developed a micro geared motor, ODΦ1.5mm, with BMG gear installed. With the motor’s installation into a microscope, BMG is active in environments, such as the medical setting, where precision and minimality are required.            

Expected Applications

Automobile pressure sensor

In recent years, with the advancement of process control in the automotive and other industries, there is a need for advanced sensors. BMG has the advantage of being about three times more flexible than normal metals. By using BMG for the diaphragm of a pressure sensor, the diaphragm is more flexible, resulting in a high strength, high sensitivity sensor.

Semiconductor collet

With the miniaturization of semiconductor chip parts and the acceleration of assembly, there is a corresponding demand for semiconductor die collets with higher strength and fine nozzles. By combining our BMG forming technology and fine hole processing technology, we can produce a collet for chip transfer that has a fine nozzle and excellent abrasion resistance. In addition, using BMG can solve material-based issues, such as malfunctions caused by static electricity with resin collets, or chipping problems with ceramic collets. Additionally, there are other expected applications for this technology in the semiconductor manufacturing field, such as fine nozzles used to apply adhesive.


Orthodontic tool, biomaterial, artificial joint

Small, high-precision orthodontic brackets can be manufactured using BMG. We have developed a small, circular orthodontic bracket of our own design. High precision slot formation minimizes movement of the corrective wire and facilitates treatment. Additionally, the reduction in size can ease the burden on the patient during correction as well as discomfort in the mouth.
BMG is also under consideration for use in biomaterial applications such as artificial bones and dental implants. Currently titanium, which has excellent biocompatibility, is the main material used for these, but there are problems such as poor processability and limited shape. BMG has high strength, flexibility, and a high degree of freedom in shape, and is expected to be a next-generation material to replace titanium.

Samples

The following samples are available as standard.

Materials
Zr55Cu30Al10Ni5(at%)

Quantity & sample price (JPY)

1

2

3~5

6~10

11~20

Rod

φ2×L50mm

-

-

9,000

8,000

7,500

φ3×L50mm

-

-

10,500

9,500

9,000

φ5×L50mm

-

-

15,000

14,000

13,500

Plate

20×13×t2mm

-

-

15,000

13,000

12,000

20×40×t2mm

40,000

30,000

22,000

20,000

19,000

Materials: Zr55Cu30Al10Ni5(at%)
Quantity Rod
Size & sample price (JPY)
φ2×L50mm φ3×L50mm φ5×L50mm
1 - - -
2 - - -
3~5 9,000 10,500 15,000
6~10 8,000 9,500 9,000
11~20 15,000 14,000 13,500

Quantity Plate
Size & sample price (JPY)
20×13×t2mm 20×13×t2mm
1 - 40,000
2 - 30,000
3~5 15,000 22,000
6~10 13,000 20,000
11~20 12,000 19,000

*Shipping cost will be charged additionally

Lead Time
Up to 5 pcs:1~2weeks after order received
6+ pcs:to be discussed   

*For materials or shapes other than the above, please feel free to contact us.

Trial Samples

We can develop a variety of prototypes.

  • ・Material: Zr55Cu30Al10Ni5 (at%)
  • ・Shape: based on customer drawings
  • ・Lead time: 1~3 months after order received
  • ・Price: quotation for molds & components will be provided

Prototype Samples

Quotation Inquiry Form

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