New metal alloy created that can change shape with a magnetic field

A new type of metal alloy that can change shape under the influence of a magnetic field was created by the research group of the Polytechnic University of St. Petersburg. Specifically, this new metal alloy, in addition to emitting and absorbing heat simultaneously, can change volume and size in a magnetic field which causes these changes at the structure level.

This is a new alloy which, according to the researchers, could prove very useful in industrial or medical fields. The study, published in Key Engineering Materials, describes a new metal alloy subject to the phenomenon of magnetostriction, a phenomenon that occurs when a body changes its volume or its dimensions when it is subjected to a specific magnetic field.

By changing various properties of the latter, it is also possible to modulate the changes in the body itself. This new alloy, composed of terbium, dysprosium, gadolinium, cobalt and aluminum, can be used to develop magnetostrictive transducers. These, in turn, can be used in devices such as sensors that use the magnetic field to carry out measurements.

An example made by researchers sees those devices that help to find air bubbles inside building structures or constructions. Precisely these bubbles can over time create larger and larger cracks and cause very serious damage.

“The transducers based on our alloys will be more durable and durable than the existing ones and will work in a wide range of magnetic fields. In addition, alloys can be used in medicine as they can change their shape under the influence of magnetic fields that are safe for human health,” specifies Alexey Filimonov, one of the researchers working on the project.