Metal Glue Could Make Welding and Soldering Obsolete

/ 2 years ago

metal glue 1

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.

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“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.”



5 Responses to “Metal Glue Could Make Welding and Soldering Obsolete”
  1. yoda316 says:

    I see one problem with this being used in place of thermal grease. What happens if you ever need to remove the heatsink so you can replace the processor. If this stuff effectively solders the two together in a permanent bond, then in order to replace or upgrade a processor, you’d have to replace the entire motherboard as well as the processor and heatsink which would be very expensive compared to just replacing the processor itself.

    • Mr Average Guy says:

      Why the motherboard too? Surely you’d just be attaching the heatsink to the CPU with this glue, and not the CPU to the motherboard?

      • Futilizer says:

        Well to remove the CPU the heatsink is usually in the way of that. Which would make it impossible to remove.

      • michael blochberger says:

        In order to remove a CPU, especially modern intel ones, you have to lift a small retention arm, and lift a retention plate that surrounds the CPU. A permanently welded cooler would prevent you from lifting the retention plate, or removing the CPU out from underneath it.

        It would be akin to trying to remove your socks without first removing your shoes. It would be a physical impossibility. While this method would be stupid for mounting heatsinks to CPU’s, it may prove incredibly useful for replacing the thermal interface material that sits inside the CPU itself.

  2. Zeed says:

    Good for waterblocks on gpu tho

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