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Metallic Glue Could Compete with Soldering and Welding


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There are a number of ways we can connect materials and objects today, and each method has its own pros and cons. Glues are relatively simple to apply but are not typically conductive or strong compared to soldering or welding, which also both require high heat. Researchers at Northeastern University however, have developed a metallic glue that could combine the best of both worlds.

This glue utilizes nanotechnology to adhere two objects together, and does so at room temperature with little pressure. It is comprised of metallic nanorods with one side coated in indium and the other in gallium. These nanorods are placed on substrates like teeth on a comb, but at an angle. When the substrates are pushed together and the nanorods interlace, the indium and gallium touch and form a liquid. The metal core of the nanorods though, turn that liquid into a solid, adhering the substrates together. The resulting bond is strong, resistant to air and gas leaks, and a good conductor of heat and electricity. These are qualities more typically seen with soldering or welding, but the temperatures they required can damage the objects involved and are relatively expensive processes.

Many of the applications for this glue can be found in the electronics industry as a potential replacement for solders and a replacement for thermal grease. Only time will tell, but it definitely has some good potential.

Source: Northeastern University

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