In the world of materials, strength (the amount of force a substance can withstand) and toughness (its capacity to resist fracturing) are not merely different attributes; they're very difficult to achieve together. Now a collaboration of researchers from Caltech and the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory has created a form of glass that has both qualities. It's stronger and tougher than steel or, indeed, any other known material. The material features palladium, a metal whose possible use in glasses was recognized 45 years ago. No wonder this is same place where Richard Feynman Practiced.
|Shatter proof: An electron micrograph taken after a bending test. The sample did not fracture. |
Credit: Maximilien E. Launey