Professor Lianyi Chen and his colleagues have developed a lightweight,very strong metal by mixing a magnesium-zinc alloy with silicon carbide nanoparticles.

Researchers have created a lightweight, but very strong, structural metal made of magnesium because it is a light metal with two-thirds the density of aluminum, is abundant on Earth, and is biocompatible. It was mixed with silicon carbide nanoparticles into a molten magnesium-zinc alloy that uniformly dispersed and stabilized the nanoparticles, making a super-strong and lightweight metal.

The silicon carbide nanoparticle-infused magnesium metal was substantially stronger than conventional metals that did not contain nanoparticles. The new metal potentially can make airplanes lighter and more fuel efficient without compromising strength and safety.