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Home > News > New Glass Bends Rule, but Doesn't Break It

March 10th, 2007

New Glass Bends Rule, but Doesn't Break It

Abstract:
In the past, researchers have created metallic glasses that can bend, just a bit, by mixing metal elements and tiny nanoparticles. Fractures in those materials tend to propagate until they run into a nanoparticle, where they are dispersed. Making such composites is difficult and costly. So, Wei Hua Wang, a physicist at the Chinese Academy of Science's Institute of Physics in Beijing, and his colleagues decided to look for a simpler solution. They played around with the composition of a long-known bulk metallic glass made from zirconium, aluminum, copper, and nickel. And they hit upon a simple recipe that yielded a mixture of hard, dense regions of the material surrounded by less dense soft zones. The result was that when the researchers then bent the material, fractures that began in one zone didn't propagate through the neighboring zones. So instead of one major crack fracturing the material, the glass dissipated the force into a multitude of tiny cracks and could bend even more than the previous composites.

Source:
sciencenow.sciencemag.org

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