Apple Patents New Liquidmetal Techniques For Manufacturing

Apple Patents New Liquidmetal Techniques For Manufacturing

Aug 20, 2015

By John Biggs, TechCrunch

Liquidmetal, as you’ll recall, is a bulk metallic glass – BMG – that can be cast into shapes and then hardens into a metal. It’s popular in watchmaking and was recently taken up by Apple in their iPhone manufacturing process. Today’s patent, however, addresses the process of casting multiple metals or BMGs, allowing manufacturers to surround alloys in other alloys.

Patent No. 9,103,009 is a “method of using core shell pre-alloy structure to make alloys in a controlled manner.” This means you can cast objects consisting of multiple metallic layers including metal over BMG, BMG over metal, and an alloy of both. By cooling the material at proper rates you reduce the opportunity for crystals to form inside the metal, thereby ruining the object.

Clearly this esoteric patent isn’t aimed at the average consumer – yet – but it could mean some interesting designs for phones and wearables down the road. The company holds the exclusive license to the technology and should be implementing it in more hardware in the future.

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