Metal Glue Could Make Welding and Soldering Obsolete

A team of Boston scientists have developed a new “metal” glue that could provide a simple method for connecting metal components to one another. Prof. Hanchen Huang led a team from Boston’s Northeastern University to develop MesoGlue, a solvent that can bond metal to metal.

Traditional methods of joining two metal objects, such as welding and soldering, risk causing heat damage to circuitry or electronic components, or even explosions when dealing with gas pipes, so MesoGlue (seen above, holding a CPU to a heat sink), which bonds at room temperature, could revolutionise metal joining and repair. The compound contains microscopic nanorods that contain a metal core, some coated with indium, and others with gallium.

“When you mash the heads of the brushes together, all the little bristles push past each other so the two brushes are basically stuck together,” PhD student/co-inventor Paul Elliott explained to Gizmag. “The interlacing process is fairly similar in our glue. The bristles are spaced well enough so they can slide or be pressed in between each other.”

The indium and gallium form a liquid on contact, which then hardens as the metallic cores of the rods react with the liquid. Once the compound becomes solid, it offers a bonding solution that matches the strength of welding or soldering.

“The metallic glue has multiple appli­ca­tions, many of them in the electronics industry,” Huang said. “As a heat conductor, it may replace the thermal grease currently being used, and as an electrical conductor, it may replace today’s solders. Par­tic­ular products include solar cells, pipe fittings, and com­po­nents for computers and mobile devices.”

MesoGlue will soon become a commercial product, Elliott adds, saying, “We are working on turning this into a liquid form that will make the process just like a glue or epoxy that you would use at home.”

Add Wi-Fi to Anything for $19

A company that goes by the name of Spark has announced it’s Photon board, a $19 device that makes adding Wi-Fi connectivity to electronics easier.

The board is being marketed to people making their own gadgets who want a much more efficient and less technically demaning way to get them connected to the internet. The little board contributes to the idea of “the internet of things”, making anything and everything connected. The company, that grew out of successful Kickstarter campaign, is calling the device “the next Raspberry Pi”, as it believes it will be used by the same sorts of people – educators, artists, designers, children and tinkerers.

Source: Engadget, The Next Web