For years, lead plumbing has been a known issue–but only recently has official legislation come into effect to regulate its use. But thanks to the team at the Purdue Center for Metal Casting Research, a new alternative is already in the works.
Director Kevin Trumble reveals that their alloy, a blend of magnesium and cooper, is actually stronger and easier to shape than other alternatives to lead plumbing parts currently on the market.
“It actually solidifies at a single temperature, just like a pure metal does, that’s kind of an unusual condition,” Trumble says. The solidification behavior of this alloy could potentially “reduce or eliminate the formation of this fine porosity that usually forms.”
Just as exciting is that this alloy is affordable to make. The team already has sample products made with their unique alloy. Their next step is to produce this material on larger scales to further test its properties and gather more data.
But many manufacturing companies are already interested in it, given the high potential it yields. And aside from plumbing products, they’re also looking to retrofit their alloy for other applications, such as boat propellers.
Tell us: Would you use plumbing products made of this new alloy, if it was just as durable and the same cost, if not cheaper and stronger?
Credit: Indiana Public Media