Apple 將來用全新物料 Liquidmetal alloy做Notebook Case

Apple Licenses 'Liquidmetal' Supertough Alloy

Apple has taken a license to use the intellectual property developed by Liquidmetal Technologies and apply it to future notebooks, such as unibody MacBooks.

The disclosure was made in an SEC filing by Liquidmetal last week and noted earlier by AppleInsider.

Liquidmetal's IP subsidiary agreed to give Apple a "perpetual, worldwide, fully-paid, exclusive license to commercialize such intellectual property in the field of consumer electronic products in exchange for a license fee," with Liquidmetal allowed to license the technology to other manufacturers in other industries.

Liquidmetal claims that its material combines the properties of plastics with the ultra-rigidity of metals.

"This very unique combination of superior properties in the domain of high-strength metals and the fabrication characteristics of plastics positions the family of Liquidmetal alloys as the new paradigm in materials science," the site claims. "This revolutionary material will enable applications that will render obsolete current technology based on materials from titanium to plastic."

Using the Liquidmetal alloy might prove significant as Apple moves to crafting more and more of its notebooks and other devices out of a single piece of metal, whether it be aluminum, titanium or some other metal. Apple has referred to this as a "unibody" structure, and has claimed it offers increased strength and durability but also providing for reduced weight. Both the 17-inch MacBook Pro and the fall 2009 release of the MacBook, which used a plastic enclosure.

"One of the most unique characteristics of Liquidmetal alloys is the availability of its superior mechanical properties in as-cast form," Liquidmetal claims. "This is in distinct contrast to conventional metals where the as-cast forms have inferior mechanical properties compared to their wrought and forged forms, which limits the fabrication of intricate and sophisticated designs.

"The solidification of Liquidmetal alloys shows fundamentally distinct characteristics compared to the solidification of ordinary metals. This is due to the lack of phase transformation from the molten metal state during solidification. In addition, Liquidmetal alloys have very low melting temperature relative to their constituent metals. As a result, it is possible to fabricate Liquidmetal alloys in intricate and sophisticated designs without costly post-finishing processes."


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