While plastics have revolutionized industrial design due to their versatile processability, their relatively low strength has hampered their use in structural components. On the other hand, while metals are the basis for strong structural components, the geometries into which they can be processed are rather limited. The “ideal” material would offer a desirable combination of superior structural properties and the ability to be precision (net) shaped into complex geometries. Here we show that bulk metallic glasses (BMGs), which have superior mechanical properties, can be blow molded like plastics. The key to the enhanced processability of BMG formers is their amenability to thermoplastic forming. This allows complex BMG structures, some of which cannot be produced using any other metal process, to be net shaped precisely.

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DOI: 10.1016/S1369-7021(11)70018-9