An international team of researchers, including Australians, has pioneered a new method of producing superdense aluminum by simulating the conditions found at the centre of the Earth. The superdense aluminum is around 40 per cent stronger and denser than the conventional counterpart.


“At extreme pressures and temperatures, such as those found in our Earth’s core, common materials form new dense phases with compacted atomic arrangements and unusual physical properties,” said team member Professor Saulius Juodkazis from Swinburne University of Technology.


“Because we can’t physically see or sample materials from the extreme depths of the Earth, we need to come up with other ways to prove the existence of superdense materials. In this case, we replicated the high pressure conditions on a nano scale,” professor Juodkazis said.


According to Professor Juodkazis, the discovery could significantly advance applications which rely on nanostructured materials.


He said the discovery was also likely to catch the attention of earth and climate scientists. “By examining the mechanical and electrical properties of this type of material, we may be able to gain a greater understanding of the electrical conductivity of the interior regions of the planet. This is particularly important in the context of global climate change observed over long geological time spans.