Explosives raise hopes for injection molded amorphous metals


The shale gas boom in the United States is creating opportunity for an amorphous metal injection molding process that has struggled to find footing since its commercial launch in 2003.

Four of the six largest suppliers to the oil and gas industry are now testing prototypes of components that would be used in "shaped charges" used to complete wells. Shaped charges, also used in the military, are detonated at wellheads to perforate metal and concrete casings, permitting the influx of oil and gas.

"In the oil and gas industry, we see millions of perforators fired each year to increase the flow of new or existing oil wells," said Bruce Bromage, executive vice president of business development at Liquidmetal Technologies (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA). "Liquid metal liners combine the best properties of glass, which provides more focused energy than metal, and metals, which provide the high density needed for deep penetration."...
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