Medical Musings: Can Engel solve the amorphous metal puzzle?

10/12/2011

The potential for injection molded amorphous metals in the medical market took a big step forward with the announcement that Engel Austria GmbH (Schwertberg) will join forces with Liquidmetal Technologies (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA).

The goal is to develop net shape parts that are stronger, and possibly more cost effective, than metals and composite plastics currently used for precession medical instruments and devices, hearing aids, implants, and dental tools.

The amorphous metal ("liquid glass") technology is fascinating, but the route to commercial success has been daunting since its invention in 1993 by Caltech professor William Johnson. He cofounded Liquidmetal Technologies, which launched golf heads as its first commercial product. The retail business of Liquidmetal Golf was discontinued in September 2001, but the company is still pursuing sporting goods and other applications.
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