Metal composite floats on water

Could be used to make ships, car parts

RESEARCHERS have created a new metal matrix composite so light that it floats on water while retaining its strength and heat resistance.

The team, from Deep Springs Technology and the New York University (NYU) Polytechnic School of Engineering, made the composite from a magnesium alloy matrix composite reinforced with silicon carbide hollow particles. It has a density of 920 kg/m3, compared to 1,000 kg/m3 for water.

The hollow particles also offer impact protection to the syntactic foam because each shell acts like an energy absorber during its fracture.

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