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George Part of New Study Revealing Profound Properties of a Simple Metal Alloy

Scientists have measured the highest toughness ever recorded, of any material, while investigating a metallic alloy made of chromium, cobalt and nickel, or CrCoNi.

Not only is the metal extremely ductile—which, in materials science, means highly malleable—and impressively strong—meaning it resists permanent deformation—its strength and ductility improve as it gets colder. This runs counter to most other materials in existence.

The team, led by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, or Berkeley Lab, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, published a study describing their record-breaking findings in Science on Dec. 2, 2022.

“When you design structural materials, you want them to be strong but also ductile and resistant to fracture,” said project co-lead Easo George, the Governor’s Chair for Advanced Alloy Theory and Development at ORNL and UT. “Typically, it’s a compromise between these properties. But this material is both, and instead of becoming brittle at low temperatures, it gets tougher.”

Read more on the breakthrough at ORNL.