Liquidmetal iPhone Closer To Reality; Apple Patent Reveals Plans For Liquidmetal Applications

The amorphous metal alloy that is twice as strong as titanium could be used in a variety of Apple products

By Ajit Jha on November 23, 2013 1:03 PM EST

HelveticaFan, CC BY-SA 2.0
HelveticaFan, CC BY-SA 2.0

A 2012 rumor that Apple was planning to make an iPhone out of liquidmetal alloy has been confirmed as reality. While the actual iPhone using liquidmetal has yet to be realized, Apple's interest in the revolutionary alloy is distinctly evidenced in their new patents.

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Liquidmetal is a mix of three or more metals with characteristics similar to plastic. The alloy cools quickly and has more than twice the strength of titanium. These alloys come with different molecular structure making the substance harder, stronger, durable, thin and moldable into different shapes.

According to NASA, liquidmetal is an innovation in metals. NASA, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) and the U.S. Department of Energy collaborated to develop the new amorphous metal alloy material.

Back in 2010, Apple signed an exclusive deal with California-based company Liquidmetal Technologies. Since then the rumor mills have been speculating that Apple has been experimenting with amorphous metal alloys.

In 2010, Ataken Peker, an alleged co-inventor of liquidmetal, claimed that an iPhone made of the material could be achieved in a few years' time. According to patentlyapple.com, Apple has sought patents for five new liquidmetal inventions.

The patents show how the material could be used to create product parts through injection molding and 3-D printing. The 3-D printing method might also be less expensive and quicker compared to some of the more traditional methods like the machining of parts or prototypes.

The possible applications of liquidmetal are numerous. The patents shows that the method could be used in a host of Apple products, including laptops, remote controls, computer monitors, and iOS devices.

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