Micro Arc Oxidation (MAO). It’s a modern technology that has a whiff of alchemy about it. MAO is a process that modifies the outer layers of lightweight metals like magnesium, aluminum and titanium, surface transformations that significantly improve their performance and that allow the metals to be custom designed for a variety of functions, including in mass produced products. The process can reduce material weight and costs, lifespan and efficiency, while simultaneously improving functionality
--whether the metal is used alone or in combination.
Known as an “electrochemical nanotechnological surface treatment,”
MAO uses billions of microplasma discharges (micro arcs) to alter a material’s surface microstructure so it becomes a sealed, multifunctional,
atomically fused metal-ceramic bond (MAO uses ceramic substances that are high-strength, high-pressure, high-temperature modifications of various oxides). This bond in effect creates a new material mix, a unique metal-ceramic composite--different in composition, structure and properties from the inside-out (from the interior to the surface)--that now can be adapted to different uses. The process has potential in a range of industrial applications and key industries (e.g., automotive, aerospace) where conventional materials can be switched out for lightweight metals and alloys that provide stiffer, stronger, more corrosive-resistant and other surface properties for far less weight, far less money, and far greater efficiency.
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