Metallurgists have long sought to sit down at a computer, key in the elemental formulation for a new alloy, see how it works on the screen and then go into the lab to mix up a batch. Ideally, this digital development method would replace the tedious trial-and-error process that dates back to before medieval alchemists first tried to turn base metals into gold.
Word recently arrived from Japan that such progress may soon be in the offing. Researchers at the Toyota Central Research and Development Laboratories in Nagakute report in the April 18 Science that advanced computational models and tools led directly to the invention of a new class of titanium-based alloys.
This article was originally published with the title Alloy by Design.