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New, Metallic Glue May be Better Than Soldering or Welding

First Posted: Jan 11, 2016 09:17 AM EST

A new, metallic glue may be better than soldering and welding. Scientists have created a glue that binds metal to metal and glass to anything when it's at room temperature.

The glue itself is actually made out of metal that sets at room temperature and requires very little pressure to seal. It's made possible by the use of metallic nanorods-infinitesimally small rods with metal cores that have been coated with the elements indium on one side and gallium on the other. These coated rods are arranged along a substrate like angled teeth on a comb.

While standard polymer glue doesn't function at high temperatures or high pressures, metallic glue does. Standard glue is also not a great conductor of heat or electricity, though metallic glue is.

"'Hot' processes like soldering and welding  can result in metallic connections that are similar to those produced with the metallic glue, but they cost much more," said Hanchen Huang, one of the creators of the new glue, in a news release. "In addition, the high temperature necessary for these processes has deleterious effects on neighboring components, such as junctions in semiconductor devices. Such effects can speed up failure and not only increase cost but also prove dangerous to users."

The metallic glue has many applications, especially in the electronics industry. In theory, it may be able to replace the thermal grease currently being used and also replace today's solders.

The findings are published in the journal Advanced Materials.

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