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Scientists have developed a new type of shatterproof glass based on the unbelievably long lifespan of sea shells. The technique is inspired by the brick wall-like arrangement of the natural material, nactre

A new type of glass inspired by sea shells could pave the way for unbreakable telephone screens

  • Researchers developed new glass based on the arrangement of the material mother-of-pearl
  • This can be found in the shells of molluscs and helps them to withstand shocks
  • The team says their glass is 2-3 times as strong as laminated or tempered glass
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Scientists have developed a new type of shatterproof glass based on the unbelievably long lifespan of sea shells.

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Despite the & # 39; weak & # 39; components that form molluscs' shells, these protective shields are incredibly heavy thanks to an impact-resistant material known as mother-of-pearl.

Based on the brick-like nature of the nacre arrangement, a team of researchers made a composite glass that is three times stronger than tempered glass and up to 24 times stronger than ordinary glass.

Scientists have developed a new type of shatterproof glass based on the unbelievably long lifespan of sea shells. The technique is inspired by the brick wall-like arrangement of the natural material, nactre

Scientists have developed a new type of shatterproof glass based on the unbelievably long lifespan of sea shells. The technique is inspired by the brick wall-like arrangement of the natural material, nactre

Whether it's in a car, a building or a smartphone, glass components are always the weakest links and the most vulnerable in the entire system, "says Francois Barthelat, a mechanical engineer at McGill University.

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But, with some inspiration from nature recently, the researchers say that this does not necessarily have to be the case.

& # 39; Animals take relatively weak ingredients – a brittle mineral, soft proteins – and turn them into a hard but extremely tough armor, & # 39; said Barthelat, pointing to the durability of mother-of-pearl.

Nacre, which gives the molluscs their hard shell, is arranged like a brick wall, the researcher explains.

This allows more brittle materials such as calcium carbonate to slide past each other under tension.

Based on the brick-like nature of the nacre arrangement, a team of researchers made a composite glass that is three times stronger than tempered glass and up to 24 times stronger than ordinary glass

Based on the brick-like nature of the nacre arrangement, a team of researchers made a composite glass that is three times stronger than tempered glass and up to 24 times stronger than ordinary glass

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Based on the brick-like nature of the nacre arrangement, a team of researchers made a composite glass that is three times stronger than tempered glass and up to 24 times stronger than ordinary glass

The team used a pulsed ultraviolet laser beam to etch square or hexagonal patterns onto borosilicate glass plates only 220 microns thick to mimic the design of the material.

The sheets were then laminated with thin layers of plastic and separated into individual tiles.

Through years of experiments they were able to refine the details to obtain the precise length and deformability for strength.

& # 39; Every glass scientist will tell you that firing a powerful laser into a piece of glass is a bad idea because it will cause defects and reduce strength, & # 39; said Barthelat.

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& # 39; Our glass, however, is a good example where material removal and apparently weakening processes actually make the material much better. & # 39;

Nacre, which gives the molluscs their hard shell, is arranged like a brick wall, the researcher explains. This allows more brittle materials such as calcium carbonate to slide past each other under tension

Nacre, which gives the molluscs their hard shell, is arranged like a brick wall, the researcher explains. This allows more brittle materials such as calcium carbonate to slide past each other under tension

Nacre, which gives the molluscs their hard shell, is arranged like a brick wall, the researcher explains. This allows more brittle materials such as calcium carbonate to slide past each other under tension

The team used a pulsed ultraviolet laser beam to etch square or hexagonal patterns onto borosilicate glass plates only 220 microns thick to mimic the design of the material. The sheets were then laminated with thin layers of plastic and separated into individual tiles

The team used a pulsed ultraviolet laser beam to etch square or hexagonal patterns onto borosilicate glass plates only 220 microns thick to mimic the design of the material. The sheets were then laminated with thin layers of plastic and separated into individual tiles

The team used a pulsed ultraviolet laser beam to etch square or hexagonal patterns onto borosilicate glass plates only 220 microns thick to mimic the design of the material. The sheets were then laminated with thin layers of plastic and separated into individual tiles

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According to the researchers, their new material is two to three times the strength of tempered or laminated glass and 15 to 24 times more impact-resistant than regular glass.

And it is only marginally less transparent.

Barthelat says that & # 39; the manufacturing method we have developed is relatively simple and scalable, that you can make industrial volumes of this material very easily and at a reasonable price. & # 39;

There are still a number of problems that need to be solved, including a reduction in stiffness, which increases the chance of it collapsing under pressure.

But the team says that adding a smooth glass plate to the front could eliminate this effect.

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The technology can also lead to more flexible glasses that can bend and repair without damage, the team said.

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