Team led by Romanian professor discovers super-hard metal ‘four times tougher than titanium’



A team led by professor Emilia Morosan from Rice University, Houston have managed to create an alloy that is stronger than pure titanium.

The team has melted titanium and gold and merged them.

The alloy is the hardest metallic substance that is compatible with live tissues, is four times harder than pure titanium and can be used in medical implants that are needed for a long period of time. This alloy could be used in implants for knee and hip, which usually have to be replaced every ten years.

The team has made the discovery while working with gold and titanium magnets. The researchers wanted to check the purity of the magnets by crumbling the materials into powder, however, the combination Ti3Au has been proved too strong to be powdered. The professor stated that the material is also stronger than most materials used in engineering, however, it might be used mostly in medicine for dental implants and articulations.

The discovery was published in Science Advances. The abstract of the research paper is quoted bellow.

Abstract for

High hardness in the biocompatible intermetallic compound β-Ti3Au

The search for new hard materials is often challenging, but strongly motivated by the vast application potential such materials hold. Ti3Au exhibits high hardness values (about four times those of pure Ti and most steel alloys), reduced coefficient of friction and wear rates, and biocompatibility, all of which are optimal traits for orthopaedic, dental, and prosthetic applications. In addition, the ability of this compound to adhere to ceramic parts can reduce both the weight and the cost of medical components. The fourfold increase in the hardness of Ti3Au compared to other Ti–Au alloys and compounds can be attributed to the elevated valence electron density, the reduced bond length, and the pseudogap formation. Understanding the origin of hardness in this intermetallic compound provides an avenue toward designing superior biocompatible, hard materials.


The full article can be read at


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