Liquidmetal is quickly gaining popularity in various industries, including medicine. John Kang Liquidmetal specialist states that this is completely normal since we are talking about an option that is lighter than steel and even harder than titanium. John Kang MC is a highly renowned doctor, a surgical oncologist with flawless ethics so what he says can be trusted.
The popularity of Liquidmetal instantly skyrocket when it was discussed as an option that could be used in the iPhone. That was when a lot of interest started to show for use in medical devices. While initially the discussions were just at theoretical levels, everything is moving fast now and actual applications are being seen.
John Kang says Liquidmetal is basically an alloy. The material has various important characteristics that are very valuable in medical device construction. Liquidmetal is around 20 percent lighter than the common stainless steel and harder than titanium. At the same time, it is biocompatible, corrosion-resistant, water-resistant and even wear-resistant. Just as you would use plastics, alloys can easily be injected in molds. The only difference is that what you create can be ready in 3 minutes instead of 3 hours to 3 days, as current normal standards.
One of the interesting characteristics of Liquidmetal is that this material is nonmagnetic. This means it can potentially be utilized in MRI machines, although there were no tests made that officially verified this. The exhibited durability, strength and hardness make Liquidmetal a wonderful material for various medical devices, like implants and scalpels.
There are at least 2 medical devices that use Liquidmetal and that are available on the market at the moment. The first one is ezlase Diode Dental Laser System, which uses Liquidmetal for a majority of the housing. In this case the material helped make the machine portable, all while having proper heat dissipation, radiation protection, impact radiation and even ergonomic shape. The tooling costs were revealed to be in line with similar injection molding options with plastic.
Another use of Liquidmetal in housing units is noticed in iLase, which is a pen laser used in dental procedures. The handheld device is better than alternatives since Liquidmetal is strong and can easily be molded.
While Liquidmetal has some really useful properties that are beneficial in the medical field, John Kang does mention that there are also some limitations that should be considered. This includes a poor performance when faced with temperatures over 500 degrees Fahrenheit. The good news is that such a fact is not a concern when looking at medical devices. It is more important to think about the fact that high-cycle fatigue rate is not yet determined since this is a factor that is always considered in different ultrasonic applications.
At the moment there are different research studies being conducted about the potential use of Liqudimetal in various medical applications. So far the results are good and it is expected that there will be other new devices that will take advantage of its characteristics in the near future.