Issue: 1/03

Engineers at The Johns Hopkins University announced that they have produced a form of pure copper metal that is six times stronger than normal, with no significant loss of ductility. The achievement, reported in the Oct. 31 issue of the journal Nature, is important because earlier attempts to strengthen a pure metal such as copper have almost always resulted in a material that is much less ductile, or more likely to fracture when it is stretched.

To make the pure copper stronger, the engineers had to employ extreme cold and mechanical manipulation, followed by a carefully designed heat treatment. For more information on the metallurgical process, visit Johns Hopkins' Dept. of Materials Science and Engineering at