Lightweight metallic glass is strong as steel

Developers forsee use in variety of products, from golf clubs to airplanes As anyone who lives too close to a baseball field knows, glass can be frustratingly fragile.

But a new type of glass, made from opaque titanium and zirconium instead of transparent silicon, is harder and tougher — and weighs less — than stainless steel. The California scientists who developed and tested the opaque glass hope it could one day replace steel and aluminum in a wide variety of products, from golf clubs to airplanes.

This microscopic image (a) shows a new kind of glass, made from a stiff metal alloy and honeycombed with soft crystals, that is both harder and tougher than stainless steel (b).

600450 Lightweight metallic glass is strong as steel
Date: 20 March 2009

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