Glass that bends, not breaks

Wei Hua Wang, a physicist at the Chinese Academy of Science and his colleagues, looked for, and found an answer to the tensed problem of glass: they toyed with the composition of long-known metallic glass, made of zirconium, aluminum, copper and nickel, and mixing four or five elements that possess atoms of varying sizes, they came up with a recipe that yielded a mixture of hard, dense regions of the material surrounded by less dense soft zones. The results are promising, as fractures that began in one area of the material during the bending stopped propagating to the neighboring areas, so the forces that would normally produce a major crack in the material were dissipated into a multitude of small cracks, thus allowing the composite material to bend more than ever before.This discovery could pave the way for the introduction of new materials in various products, from tougher golfclubs to new structural resistances in buildings.

Source: news.softpedia.comAdded: 28 March 2007