Now, a glass stronger than steel

The new glass is a micro-alloy featuring palladium.

Updated: Jan 11, 2011, 14:01 PM IST

Washington: A new type of glass, stronger and tougher than steel, has been developed and tested by a team of US researchers.

What`s more, even better versions of this new glass - a micro-alloy featuring palladium - may be on the way, the journal Nature Materials reports.

"These results mark the first use of a new strategy for metallic glass fabrication and we believe we can use it to make glass that will be even stronger and more tough," said Robert Ritchie, a materials scientist at Berkeley Lab.

The initial samples of the new metallic glass were micro-alloys of palladium with phosphorous, silicon and germanium that yielded glass rods approximately one mm in diametre, according to a Berkeley statement.

Adding silver to the mix enabled the University of California researchers, who also worked on the project, to expand the thickness of the glass rods to six mm.

The new metallic glass was fabricated by co-author Demetriou at California University in the lab of study co-author Johnson. Characterization and testing was done at Berkeley Lab by Ritchie`s group.

"Traditionally, strength and toughness have been mutually exclusive properties in materials, which makes these new metallic glasses so intellectually exciting," Ritchie said.

IANS