When it comes to materials, one very important characteristic to look for is the strength. The stronger the material is, the more applications it can be used in (keeping in mind other characteristics).
Just recently, scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory have developed a new tungsten-based alloy that has high strength. This alloy has showed its ability to withstand radiation without being damaged. This is important to be used in areas and environments where radiation exists such as magnetic fusion reactors; where it gets too dangerous for humans to react. These locations force a vast loss in materials which needs a high cost for constant replacement.
However, this alloy is up for the job. This alloy, which is in a thin film form, is mixture of nanocrustalline tungsten-tantalum-vanadium-chromium alloy. It has been tested with extreme thermal and radiation conditions and has showed a great response.
The main author of the study, Osman El Atwani was excited with their progress stating, “This material showed outstanding radiation resistance when compared to pure nanocrystalline tungsten materials and other conventional alloys. Radiation Effects and Plasma Material Interactions in Tungsten Based Materials” project at Los Alamos. “Our investigations of the material mechanical properties under different stress states and response of the material under plasma exposure are ongoing.”
This alloy could be a new invention that will create a breakthrough in the material sciences. It could be well-enough used in many applications where humans can’t reach or even replace current alloys in their applications; being stronger.