What is M3?
M3, short for Macro-Molecular Materials are part of the new breed of new age designer materials that make everything from the Stealth Bomber to the International Space Station possible. These materials are made with high purity metals and other exotic elements that have been deconstructed to the macro-molecular level, homogeneously combined and then reconstructed with highly refined proprietary chemical binders. Metal deconstruction requires very specialized equipment (see photo) Gas Metal Atomizer that super heats the metal and then shoots it with water, gas or plasma causing it to explode into molecules of specific shape and size. Heat, pressure and an exothermic chemical reaction cause the molecules to cross link forming a new material with a unique macro-molecular structure. Because the molecules are distributed homogeneously through a process known as the Micelle Phenomenon, the new material gains the benefit of all the unique characteristics of the individual components.
Originally developed for aerospace and the military the engineers at M3 Composite Industries (M3ci) uncovered a host of aesthetic qualities that build on the remarkable benefits of these materials. The proprietary M3ci process together with the natural interplay of the metals and elements creates exotic metal colors, beautiful random wood grain patterns and metal combinations that were never before possible. Deep, dimensional, mirror finishes with galactic star field qualities make for a surface that is mesmerizing and desirable.
For example; M3 Copper is produced by applying the M3 macro-molecular process to pure copper and producing a completely new form of copper with a unique molecular structure. This new M3 Copper will literally last forever where regular copper will ultimately oxidize and corrode over time. The new molecular structure allows for an increased strength to weight ratio with enhanced surface characteristics while at the same time being unbelievably easy to turn, cut, shape and polish with standard wood working tools.
M3 Proprietary Processes – The Science
While M3ci can’t lay claim to having invented Macro Molecular Materials, they have certainly perfected them and invented processes specific to their aesthetic properties and its use in solid cold cast applications. While other manufactures have been able to achieve the Micelle Phenomenon only in flat surface applications M3ci is the only manufacturer to achieve true micellization in three dimensions (see Figure 1).
The Micelle Phenomenon occurs between the macro-molecular molecules (metal) and the hybrid binder, wherein molecules of the hybrid binder distribute themselves evenly around each individual particle of metal. Unlike metallic paint, where metal flakes are merely floating in random suspension inside a polymer fluid, each macro-molecule is distributed evenly with homogeneous uniform precision.
The M3ci process takes this to the next level by achieving uniformity among the different types of metal and elements in the composite in three dimensions. This allows for the re-alloying of metals creating custom hybrid metals that are not achievable in nature, as well as the ability to change the color of the metals throughout the composite material not just on the surface.
M3 Process Creates Incredible Colors
This has led to the creation of Cobaltium (essentially a blue aluminum), Blue Bronze, Red Copper (a red colored copper that stays red) and many other M3 proprietary metals. National colors, company colors, sports team colors and commemoratives are all possible in spectacular Mokume patterns, segments or even laser cut inlays.
Figure 1 is a great example of why objects created with the M3 proprietary process will literally last forever. Even highly reactive metals such as iron – which rusts when exposed to moisture – can’t rust or rot through when it is part of the composite. As you can see in the illustration, each metal macro molecule is completely encapsulated by the hybrid binder. If a molecule of iron for example were to rust or corrode it could only go one macro-molecule deep. The next molecule is fully protected by the hybrid binder which is impervious to almost everything.