Researchers at the Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal are co-inventors of a new nanocomposite and method to manufacture it. The other inventors are from the University of California-Davis. The new nanocomposite is comprised of non-faceted nanoparticles reinforcing a nanostructured metal matrix. This means that instead of having a large particle with many flat surfaces the submicron particle portrays a spherical surface that is surrounded by aluminum.
The 'Hall Petch' relation states that as the grain size in a material decreases, the strength increases. Unfortunately, as the strength increases, the ductility decreases. In developing these materials, researchers incorporated ARDEC's boron carbide nanopowder into a nanomaterial as a reinforcing phase in combination with some coarse grained material, which enhanced the ductility. The combined material has improved strength ADN ductility.