New Iron-Aluminum Alloy Is Strong and Light as Titanium, 10% of the Cost

The best materials are, by and large, the most expensive: carbon fiber, diamond and scandium all have properties to lust for, but an eye-watering price tag to match. Now, material scientists have tweaked an iron-aluminum alloy at the nano-scale to make a material that's as strong and light as titanium, another… » 2/05/15 7:30am 2/05/15 7:30am

Video: Turning soda cans into liquid metal looks so fun

I'm not going to give my aluminum cans to recycling centers anymore. Instead, I'm going to melt them down to liquid metal and create awesome metal objects with them. All I need is a hair dryer and some charcoal to create this awesome mini metal foundry. It turns about 40 cans into a pound of aluminum. » 12/31/14 9:02pm 12/31/14 9:02pm

How Priority Bicycles Made a "Maintenance Free" Bike For Under $400

Buying a bike is all about compromises. You can get a cheap one at Target, but it'll be heavy and have low-end components. Or you could get a light bike with killer components, but you'll be paying through the nose. Priority Bicycles is a new company that thinks it's found the sweet spot: A cheap, light, "maintenance… » 7/15/14 8:00am 7/15/14 8:00am

Magic fabric doesn't catch fire after being doused with molten aluminum

The molten aluminum being poured out onto the thin black fabric is bubbling at a scorching 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. That's hot. And yet, for all the heat and fire and flame power, the magic fabric easily withstands the burning liquid metal. The fabric doesn't catch fire, it doesn't get burned through and there's not a… » 6/25/14 12:27am 6/25/14 12:27am

Watch a piece of aluminum levitate and melt at the same time

This is an induction heater, an electromagnetic thingamajig that can make metal to levitate and—with enough power—melt. In this case, the metal is a 2.6-gram piece of aluminum that reaches a temperature of 2192 F (1200 C) before the machine is turned off. » 4/03/14 1:26am 4/03/14 1:26am

How to crush a soda can without using any physical force

Crushing cans with your bare hands or stepping on them with your full body weight or shooting them with a bb gun are all fun ways to destroy an aluminum can. What might be most fun is letting it crush itself. How? Magical pressure. » 1/31/14 10:15pm 1/31/14 10:15pm

The Origin And Power Of Life Flows In This Ceiling

In ancient Greek lore, "arkhe" is the concept of origin and the forces underlying life. Standard philosophical themes to think about in a hair salon, right? Moriyuki Ochiai Architects designed this salon, ArKhe, in Chiba, Japan to channel water and remind people of the flow of life. » 8/11/13 1:07pm 8/11/13 1:07pm

A Sleek, Minimalist Aluminum Wallet With a Handy Eject Button

An ultra-thin wallet is the only way to avoid bulging pockets if you've opted for skintight jeans. But what good is a sleek wallet if it's next to impossible to get your cards out? That's why the Secrid wallet features an actual eject button at the bottom, forcing your credit and debit cards up so they're easy to… » 6/18/13 2:54pm 6/18/13 2:54pm

What Is Anodizing?

The lustrous patina that protects the backside of Apple's new iPad Mini isn't just some cheap shellac or sealant coat—it's actually "grown" on the metal itself in an electrochemical process known as anodization. Here's how. » 10/23/12 5:24pm 10/23/12 5:24pm

This All-Aluminum iPhone 5 Looks Pretty Freaking Cool to Me

Gizmodo reader Codi Bonney had a cool idea to stop the paint of his iPhone 5 to chip off: take the whole thing off. "I'm still working on sanding it, this is what I've got so far," he said in his email. It looks pretty neat. » 10/10/12 4:49pm 10/10/12 4:49pm

See what I mean? The phone looks cool from the top, but the back is not that nice. []

iPhone Production Slows as Apple Improves Aluminum Quality

Bloomberg is reporting that Apple's iPhone 5 production is slowing, as it attempts to cut the number of devices shipped with nicks and scratches by improving aluminum quality control at Foxconn. » 10/10/12 3:42am 10/10/12 3:42am

The World's Largest Aluminum Smelter Dealt 585,000 Tons of It Last Year

The Qatalum smelter in Qatar is the largest, highest output aluminum smelter in the world. With a mind-boggling 704 individual smelting pots, it produces upwards of 585,000 tons of aluminum each year. That's a lot of Coke cans. » 9/28/12 11:30am 9/28/12 11:30am

How Apple Uses Rust to Make MacBooks and iPods Tough and Colorful

You probably own a ton of gadgets made from aluminum and titanium. Lot of 'em by Apple. But did you know that the smooth, brushed finish on the surface of your MacBook or iPod is actually made with a thin level of rust? » 5/29/12 8:33am 5/29/12 8:33am

Some Gadgets Age Better Than Other Gadgets

The Japanese have a term for the pleasing decay of objects: "Wabi-sabi." How many gadgets and other products have you held onto, because you like how they've worn down? Converse; holey jeans; your Casio watch...even your silver Game Boy from long ago, that looks so beautifully battered after years of being tossed in a… » 5/09/11 5:20am 5/09/11 5:20am

Resist the Urge to Test This iPad Case by Tossing It Out the Window

This menacing, industrial case from LTD Tools isn't cheap, but there's really no point in arguing over whether or not it will protect the iPad contained within form a simple fall. Or a baseball bat. Or... » 5/01/11 8:00pm 5/01/11 8:00pm

Power this Little RC Car with Soda Can Tabs

The car manufacturers have it wrong—we don't need hybrids or electric cars. We need cars that run on discarded junkfood containers—like the DAlH2Orean remote-controlled car! Two Spanish engineers from the Polytechnic Institute of Catalonia figured out a way to power the little car with soda can tabs. » 4/18/11 8:40pm 4/18/11 8:40pm

This Wallet Is Industrial Strength No Matter How Broke You Are

Leather! Duct tape! Some sort of cloth! Wallets are so dull. But one made out of two plates of powder coated aluminum alloy, bound with a bungee cord? Not dull at all—simple, minimalist, and tough. [Wintercheck Factory] » 2/08/11 2:40pm 2/08/11 2:40pm

Who Knew 5,000 Aluminum Tubes Could Be So Captivating?

This sculpture shows just what you can do with 5,000 aluminum tubes and a single light source: create a sense of futuristic brilliance. It's called Sitooterie II, it's in Essex, U.K., and up close it looks like Tron-inspired skyscrapers: » 9/15/10 3:20pm 9/15/10 3:20pm

Vocab Lesson: Vapor-Metalized Plastic

A piece of plastic goes in, a piece of metal comes out. At least, that's what vapor metallizing seems to accomplish, at least to our immediate senses. It's gilding, except it's been updated for the electronics age. And it's everywhere. » 8/26/10 2:00pm 8/26/10 2:00pm