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Thread: Liquidmetal knives?

  1. #1
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    Liquidmetal knives?


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    I remember some years ago a new Liquidmetal alloy being hailed as possibly the next big thing in knifemaking. It was claimed to be possible to cast blades already sharp, and was reported to have excellent edgeholding capability.

    Whatever happened to it? I did a Google search and there's nothing out there anymore.

  2. #2
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    I believe the surface tension of the "liquid metal" would round off the edge after a few weeks or days. Heard that. Not sure of its accuracy.

  3. #3
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    Surface tension only applies to a compound in its liquid state, and Liquid metal is a solid by the time the knife is sold.

    There was an article about this in Blade a year or so back. I remember the gist being that LM knives are composed of a chemical (as opposed to metal) alloy, and perform a lot like ceramic knives; their edge retention is considerably superior to most of the common super-steels (like VG-10 or S30V), but their impact resistance is dangerously low. Also, like ceramic knives, they are castable, but ridiculously hard to grind and ridiculously hard to sharpen. (Most of the few ceramic knives sold stated that the only way to sharpen the knife was to send it back to the manufacturer.)

    There was also a sometime worry of beryllium poising, since liquid metal contains beryllium, but most of the people who know what they're talking about have dismissed it as a nonissue.

    The knives around that are made from LM are supposed to be exellent slicers, but would not make good hard use knives becuase they just aren't that tough. Plus, while the edge retention is exemplary, the ratio of edge retention to ease of sharpening is outdone by many other proper steels.

    As with ceramics, there's a reason the stuff never caught on.

  4. #4
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    Ah. I haven't read Blade in a long time, so that's why I hadn't seen it. It's interesting, though, to see the number of steels that were supposed to be the next big thing that never panned out. Liquidmetal, ceramics, Talonite, Cowry X, CPM S90V, they've all pretty much vanished.

  5. #5

    liq.metal

    was a custom maker whom made a few yrs. back .reports of perfm. were not exceptional. from what i've heard industry is using it to make cell phone bodies etc.

  6. #6
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    Is this LM technique the same as MIM?

  7. #7
    The biggest problem with amorphous metal (its more proper name, and yes it is metallic) is that since it doesn't have a crystalline structure it didn't have any sort of scratch pattern to the edge. It was just smooth, and would just slide off of things. It would push-cut very well, however.

    The brittleness is something that's being addressed with the latest generations of the stuff. They've found that introducing microscopic hair-like structures of steel into the matrix works like horsehair in plaster to help hold it together. The problem with the unaltered Liquid Metal is that, again, the lack of a crystal structure is that it doesn't deform under strain--it cracks.

  8. #8
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    I worked with the original stuff and found that it simply would not hold an edge unless it was serrated or left rough ground and even then edge holding was short lived.

    I still have a couple of art knives made of the LM1 in my showcase.

    George

  9. #9
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