Researchers from UCLA, Clemson University, North Carolina State University, the University of California Riverside, and Hysitron Incorporated have created a strong, light structural metal with high specific strength and modulus. The metal consists of magnesium with a dense even dispersal of ceramic silicon carbide nanoparticles. The researchers’ technique of infusing a large number of the ultra-hard ceramic silicon carbide particles smaller than 100 nanometers into the lightweight magnesium added significant strength, stiffness, plasticity and durability under high temperatures. To prevent the nanoparticles from clumping, the researchers dispersed the particles into a molten magnesium zinc alloy. The newly discovered nanoparticle dispersion relies on the kinetic energy in the particles’ movement. To further enhance the material’s strength, the researchers used high-pressure torsion to compress it. The material could be used for lighter airplanes, spacecraft, cars, mobile electronics, and biomedical devices.