Glass Stronger Than Steel

01/10/2011 |

A new kind of glass may be stronger than steel

Glass stronger than steel? A new damage-tolerant metallic glass featuring strength and toughness beyond any known material has been developed by researchers from the DOE’s Lawrence Berkley National Laboratory and the California Institute of Technology. 

And apparently, that’s just the beginning, as a new form of even tougher 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 glass features palladium, a metal perfect for counteracting the brittleness normally associated with glass 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.”

New forms of this palladium based metallic glass may have significant impact on facility design and development in the future.

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