Hufnagel, Todd C. The John Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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- Mechanical properties
- Electrical, optical, and magnetic properties
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Metals and metallic alloys having an amorphous structure on the atomic scale. Although the word “glass” is commonly used to refer to the familiar transparent oxide glasses (such as silicate glasses used to make windowpanes), in a more general sense a glass is any solid obtained from a liquid that does not crystallize upon cooling. As a result, a glass retains an atomic-scale structure in which the atoms are more or less randomly arranged, similar to that of the liquid state. Because most metals crystallize quickly, special care must be taken with processing and alloy design to produce a metallic glass. Metallic glasses produced directly by quenching the liquid are quite similar in terms of structure and properties to amorphous alloys (of the same chemical composition) produced by other means, such as physical vapor deposition, irradiation, mechanical alloying, or solid-state reaction (Fig. 1). See also: Amorphous solid; Crystal; Glass; Glass transition
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