In the movies, action fans love to see glass crack into a gazillion tiny pieces – perhaps a car drove right through it, perhaps someone was thrown through it or perhaps it got shattered by some wicked magic. In any case, a team of creative scientists from the University of Tokyo's Institute of Industrial Science may have just put an end to seeing broken glass ever again.
They created extremely strong hybrid glass, which is said to be 'as strong as steel' and almost unbreakable. The journal Scientific Reports published the findings, stating that producing it was prompted by the growing demand for thinner and lighter, yet stronger glass with high elastic moduli to be used for manufacturing windows in buildings and cars, as well as cover glasses for smartphones and TFT displays.
The new glass won't shatter even if you throw bricks or stones at it, also because it contains aluminum oxide compounds, ensuring the material's toughness. We can only imagine the smiles on heavy smartphone users who are far too often left to deal with cracking touchscreens. But if you consider the big picture, such 'tough' material has incredible potential – imagine no more glass shattered on your kitchen floor, glass structures and buildings becoming firmer and more resistant to otherwise destructive weather conditions, perhaps even safe glass submarines and automobiles?