Monday, January 17, 2011

Transparent steel!

Never let it be said that the Phantom Soapbox just points and laughs at the leftards.  You've heard of Transparent Aluminum from Star Trek, and you've heard some guy actually did it for real because they are testing it for bulletproof windows.

Well, here is transparent steel.

Glass stronger and tougher than steel? A new type of damage-tolerant metallic glass, demonstrating a strength and toughness beyond that of any known material, has been developed and tested by a collaboration of researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)and the California Institute of Technology. What's more, even better versions of this new glass may be on the way.

"These results mark the first use of a new strategy for metallic glass fabrication and we believe we can use it to make glass that will be even stronger and more tough," says Robert Ritchie, a materials scientist who led the Berkeley contribution to the research.

The new metallic glass is a microalloy featuring palladium, a metal with a high "bulk-to-shear" stiffness ratio that counteracts the intrinsic brittleness of glassy materials.

"Because of the high bulk-to-shear modulus ratio of palladium-containing material, the energy needed to form shear bands is much lower than the energy required to turn these shear bands into cracks," Ritchie says. "The result is that glass undergoes extensive plasticity in response to stress, allowing it to bend rather than crack."

 Imagine fiberglass made out of that, my friends.  Or how about metallic glass cables holding up a transparent bridge?  Or maybe just really thin windows.

An exciting time to be alive, to be sure. 

The Phantom

1 comment:

MONSTER said...

Or Wonder Womans invisable plane.