Glass Tough As Steel Built Using Laser Technique

First Posted: Nov 09, 2015 09:29 AM EST

Researchers have created a type of glass that is stronger than some types of steel, according to a study at The University of Tokyo and Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute.

This team of scientists decided to create glass that is as strong as steel, since most applications such as vehicle windows, buildings and electronic devices could more innovative if they were built with sturdier glass. One of the key ingredients in the process was adding extra amounts of an oxide of aluminum, which is a chemical compound of aluminum and oxygen. The researchers referred to the use of oxide of aluminum as aerodynamic levitation, according to a news release.

Adding large amounts of an oxide of aluminum is common in making strong glass, but there are several setbacks to the process. However, these researchers' method is quite efficient. The researchers' mix for the glass is held in the air as it is formed, oxygen pushes it from below and a laser is used like a spatula to mix the ingredients together. The finished product is a glass with extra alumina to it. The glass is colorless, transparent and very strong, almost identical to steel, according to the researchers.

The researchers are debating ways of mass producing the glass and making it a commercial commodity. So, very soon we could all have shatter-free smart phones.

This study was published in the journal Scientific Reports.

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