Successfully made unbreakable glass inspired by seashells

Tram Ho

A new type of glass that is 5 times more resistant to breakage than standard glass has been created with the goal of being put on commercial products, such as smartphones, to increase durability, helping users no longer have to worry. about the problem of falling.

Chế tạo thành công loại kính không thể vỡ lấy cảm hứng từ vỏ sò - Ảnh 1.

The composite material between glass and acrylic will “provide a combination of strength, toughness and transparency”, designed by researchers at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

This stronger and stronger glass is inspired by the inner layer of shells of molluscs such as oysters, snails, etc. they are structured like a wall of interwoven bricks at microscopic sizes. .

Chế tạo thành công loại kính không thể vỡ lấy cảm hứng từ vỏ sò - Ảnh 2.

The researchers say that despite being glass, the new material is more resilient like plastic and “doesn’t break on impact.”

If mass-produced and marketed, it could be used to end high-end smartphones that break easily when dropped to the ground.

Krill shell is made up of about 95% limestone, very brittle in its pure form. But mother-of-pearl, which envelops the inner shell of a mollusk, is made up of microscopic pieces that overlap, making it incredibly strong and supple. It is very durable, allowing the case to withstand impacts without breaking.

Chế tạo thành công loại kính không thể vỡ lấy cảm hứng từ vỏ sò - Ảnh 3.

(A) Glass before and after changing the refractive index to make it transparent. The circular material on the right highlights the transparency and matches the smartphone screen; (B) the microstructure of the material; (C) image of nacre on a red abalone shell; (D) the microstructure of mother-of-pearl

Incredibly, nacre has the hardness of hard materials and the strength of soft materials ,” said Allen Ehrlicher, an associate professor in the Department of Bioengineering at McGill University . It is made of hard fragments such as limestone layered with soft, highly elastic proteins. This structure exerts exceptional strength, making it 3,000 times stronger than the materials that make it up.”

“Nature is a master of design. Studying the structure of biomaterials and understanding how they work provides inspiration, and sometimes blueprints, for new materials. While techniques like mine and laminate can help reinforce the standard glass on today’s phones, they are expensive and no longer effective when the surface is damaged.”

Chế tạo thành công loại kính không thể vỡ lấy cảm hứng từ vỏ sò - Ảnh 4.

(A) The glass compound microstructure of the McGill University team and (B) the mother-of-pearl microstructure with a brick-wall-like arrangement

Professor Ehrlicher said: “Until now there has been a trade-off between high strength, toughness and transparency. Our new material is not only three times stronger than regular glass, but also more than five times stronger against breakage.”

Nacre is composed of hexagonal platelets containing crystals of aragonite (a form of calcium carbonate) arranged in continuous parallel lamellae, like a brick wall.

The scientists took the architecture of mother-of-pearl and recreated it with layers of glass and acrylic flakes, creating a “particularly durable” opaque material that can be produced easily and inexpensively.

They then went one step further to make the compound optically transparent, by changing the refractive index of the acrylic material.

The team’s next steps are to improve unbreakable glass by incorporating smart technology that allows the glass to change its properties, such as color, mechanics and electrical conductivity.

Reference: DailyMail

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Source : Genk