Skip to comments.It Looks a Lot Like Glass, but Itís Tough as Steel
Posted on 01/11/2011 9:25:18 PM PST by neverdem
The moment a crack forms in a piece of glass, it is prone to spread. Thats because although glass is very strong and resistant to deformation, it lacks the toughness that metals like aluminum and steel have.
Now, researchers from the California Institute of Technology and the University of California, Berkeley, report that they have devised a new type of metallic glass that is as strong as glass, but as tough as steel the toughest of all metals.
Typically with materials its very hard to get both toughness and strength; either you get one or the other, said Marios Demetriou , a materials engineer at Caltech and the studys lead author.
He and his colleagues report their findings in the journal Nature Materials.
There is, however, a catch to the seemingly transformational discovery.
The cost of this material is very high, and its essentially high enough to be prohibitive for commodity-type products, Dr. Demetriou said, though he did not have exact numbers...
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
The Germans did this a few years ago: they named it ‘aluminium’.
Ya beat me to it.
Cool...now we can build starships....
all we need is a wrap core...
Reardon metal, right on schedule.
Make a dadgum iPhone screen out of it!
Scottie, we miss ya!
Who cares how expensive it is, this is just what Dan Burton and Congress are looking for!
The price will go down.
Beat me to it too :)
Yes, transparent aluminum already exists, and as yo usay the Germans did this a couple years ago. Posted a pic of it. Kind of opaque.
*snort* That was my first thought, as well!
The planet and whales are saved!!!!
What’s the difference between toughness and strength?
didn’t Scotty invent that in Star Trek IV??
Hmmm. If we were to take your "Wrap Core," and manipulate it...perhaps if we bend, twist and WARP it... it could become an incredible power source. The only problem is what to call it...
Pretzel Drive. Call it a Pretzel Drive.
A Warp Croe!
There was a time when aluminum was very expensive.
Fascinating to see how material manufacture has progressed. Equally fascinating that improvements in the internal combustion motor have kept it ahead of all rivals.
LOL. Reardon Medal. Just what I was thinking. Reading the book now and thinking that I finally got around to reading this book after all these years just as a lot of it is now reality.
Sorry I was thinking about a blunt...a wrap core...
Life imitates art.
All the ‘windows’ in the spaceships in Star Wars were made of ‘durasteel’. Imagine it- make it happen!
Don’t sit on those glass flutes just yet!
This is somewhat crude from memory. You might want to check an engineering or scientific dictionary. Think of toughness like hardness. Industrial diamonds have a crystal structure. They cut just about everything because they are so hard. I think of strength like in tensile strength. Think of steel - an alloy not unlike glass - cables holding a load off the ground. That's one way to measure strength. Those steel cables will be tested to the load that they fail for strength. Any corrections are always appreciated.
Bistro Math Drive
By LiveScience Staff
posted: 18 October 2005
A new type of transparent armor made of aluminum could one day replace glass in military vehicles. The product is called aluminum oxynitride. It is being tested by the Army and the University of Dayton Research Institute in Ohio. The material is a ceramic compound with a high compressive strength and durability, according to an Army statement issued this week. It performs better than the multilayered glass products currently in use, and its about half the weight. It is virtually scratch-resistant.
"The substance itself is light-years ahead of glass," said 1st Lt. Joseph La Monica, who heads the research.
Glass is still used in the new process, being sandwhiched between an outer layer of the polished aluminum oxynitride and a polymer backing.
In a test this summer, the product held up to a .50-caliber sniper's rifle with amor-piercing bullets. Traditional glass armor did not survive the test.
Officials hope the product will prove even more useful when considering more severe threats, such as explosives.
"The higher the threat, the more savings you're going to get," La Monica said. "With glass, to get the protection against higher threats, you have to keep building layers upon layers. But with [the new product], the material only needs to be increased a few millimeters."
"Achieving protection at lighter weights will allow the armor to be more easily integrated into vehicles," said Ron Hoffman, a researcher at University of Dayton Research Institute.
Cost vs. Durability
Time, blowing sand and other environmental factors degrade glass surfaces. The aluminum material is expected to retain its clarity for much longer.
"It all comes down to survivability and being able to see what's out there and to make decisions while having the added protection," Hoffman said.
The military is considering installing the aluminum windows on Humvees and low-flying, slower aircraft like the the C-130 Hercules.
The holdup for now is price.
Traditional transparent armor costs less than $4 per square inch. The aluminum oxynitride is now at least $10 per square inch. That price would come down with mass production. And the material's longevity would make it cost less than the initial price tag would indicate.
"It might cost more in the beginning, but it is going to cost less in the long run because you are going to have to replace it less," La Monica said.
Strength = amount of force it can withstand before yielding..
I know, still rather cryptic.
Steel = strong and tough, glass=strong, but brittle, therefore not tough. Similarly, hardened steel can be less tough than softer steel, since it is more prone to break when struck..
Toughness is the ability to absorb energy. Strength is stress level at which plastic deformation or fracture occurs. Plastic deformation means the material does not return to it’s original shape.
And the non technical way to explaine this to lay people is the example of the coat hanger. It takes a lot of work bending back and forth to break it. It's the ductile nature of steel that permits it to bend into a plastic state making it tough without easily breaking.