03.02.2014 7:36

New materials: glass, which is wrinkled, but not beating

Canadian researchers from McGill University report that they have managed to create a heavy-duty glass, which can bounce from just a little wrinkle. article about it was published in Nature Communications.

Idea to increase the strength of glass authors borrowed from seashells. Their shells are 95% of chalk, which in itself is very fragile. But the pearl, which pave the internal surfaces of these shells, gives them extraordinary strength. Nacre is composed of microscopic platelets, slightly reminiscent of miniature elements “Lego”. Scientists have repeatedly tried to create such a structure, but until now they have nothing.


Canadian team decided to use the fact that the edges of the microplate intermolecular bonds are weakened, and went on a paradoxical way – not strengthening, but on the contrary, cracking the glass. They became vygravirovyvat laser on the glass surface a complex fracture network to create a boundary such as weak as that of the pearl.

Tests showed that the strength of glass microplate increased 200 times. Engraved microcracks were not allowed to spread throughout the new glass surface and destroy it. Then laser cracks were filled with polyurethane, is more reduced glass fragility: now the material reacts to whack a small buckling.