A new smartphone case is lightweight, thin, harder than steel, and as easy to shape as plastic. What's the catch? You can't purchase one-not yet, anyway. Jan Schroers, who teaches mechanical engineering and materials science at Yale University, developed the technology for the cases in his lab and wants to bring the product into mass production. "This material is 50 times harder than plastic, nearly 10 times harder than aluminum, and almost three times the hardness of steel," Schroers says.
"It's awesome." For years, academic and commercial institutions have
sought an effective technique for shaping these bulk metallic glasses
(BMGs)-a new generation of strong-yet-pliable materials.