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Tuesday, September 14, 2010, 10:05 am PT (01:05 pm ET)

Apple seeks metal experts to forge devices from durable Liquidmetal

Apple is hiring a number of experts on amorphous metals, as the company looks to create hardware constructed from a newly licensed, super-durable custom metal alloy known as "Liquidmetal."

AppleInsider discovered a number of new job listings this week (1, 2, 3) related to developing amorphous metal alloys for use in future Apple products. The company is looking for an amorphous metal development manager and two metal process development engineers to work at its Cupertino, Calif., corporate headquarters.

Apple seeks extremely qualified applications for the positions, as candidates for the engineering roles must have 7 years of experience in manufacturing consumer electronics, while the manager must have 10 years of experience.

The listings refer to the positions as "highly visible" roles at Apple that will involve composition, molding and forming processes with amorphous alloys. The employees will also play a part in secondary operations, such as machining, grinding and finishing of the material.

Apple is looking to fill the positions soon after the company obtained exclusive rights to a metal alloy known as Liquidmetal, an agreement first revealed by AppleInsider in August. Developed at the California Institute of Technology, the material's amorphous, non-crystalline structure makes it harder than alloys of titanium or aluminum.

Apple and the owner of the alloy, Liquidmetal Technologies, entered into an agreement that gives Apple the exclusive right to use the material in the field of electronics. In exchange, Apple paid a licensing fee to Liquidmetal Technologies that was worth at least $10.9 million.



The material can be cast precisely, with little or no need for machining. It was given a trial run by Apple with the SIM ejector tool that has shipped with versions of the iPhone and 3G iPad.