Japan Develops a High Temperature Elastic Glass

As we all know, fragile glass and flexible rubber are two totally different materials; however Tokyo Institute of Technology recently declares that its research team, which cooperates with the Central Research Institute of Japan Asahi Glass, has developed a special glass that can extend and contract at high temperature.  The research findings are expected to expand the use of glass.

The research team, led by Prof. Hosono Hideo at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Inaba Makotoji, chief research of the Central Research Institute of Asahi Glass, report in the new issue of network edition of British journal Nature Materials, that they have made a metaphosphate glass containing a variety of alkali metal ions by adding lithium and cesium to metaphosphate glass.

This special glass becomes elastic at about 220 to 250℃. In the experiment, a glass bar of 10 millimeters in length can be extended to 20 millimeters and then contract to 12 millimeters. If the glass is extended by 35%, it can contract to its original length. However, this glass’s extensibility will become the same as that of normal glass at room temperature.

As this glass does not burn under a high temperature aerobic environment, it is expected to be used under the high temperature and oxidizing circumstances where organic polymer rubber is not applicable. For instance, the glass can be used to fill up gaps of mechanical joints or used as a cushion material to absorb impulsion at high temperature.

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