“Apple will use so-called Liquidmetal for the casing of the iPhone 5, which will be launched in June, according to Korea IT News,” Richard Adhikari reports for MacNewsWorld. “Liquidmetal is the commercial name of an amorphous metal alloy developed by researchers at the California Institute of Technology and marketed by a company they set up called Liquidmetal Technologies [LQMT].”

“Apple purchased a worldwide exclusive license to commercialize Liquidmetal Technologies’ intellectual property in the field of consumer electronics, according to the latter’s 10-K report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission in March,” Adhikari reports. “‘With the license, Apple’s highly likely to use the technology in future mobile devices, including the iPhone, iPad or even the MacBook Air,’ Jim McGregor, president of Tirias Research, told MacNewsWorld. ‘Liquidmetal offers a lightweight solution that has all the characteristics of metal and can be an attractive alternative to plastics.’”

Adhikari reports, “Another term for heat-forming Liquidmetal is metal injection molding, Kevin Keller, a senior principal analyst at IHS iSuppli, told MacNewsWorld. Metal injection molding ‘lets you fabricate complex geometries similar to injection molded plastics’ but with the advantages of a metal alloy — strength, rigidity, wear and corrosion resistance… ‘Right now, Apple’s exploring the use of this manufacturing technique into more and more components of their products, and possibly even planning to use this technology for larger, more visible components such as the enclosure,’ iSuppli’s Keller said. ‘Apple is, I’m sure, right now developing techniques to expand this manufacturing process into larger and larger parts like enclosures.’”

Read more in the full article here.

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