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Breakthrough research paves the way for glass that’s as strong as steel

World's Strongest Glass Aluminum Oxide

Recently we were really impressed with what Motorola was able to do with its shatterproof display for the Droid Turbo 2. However, IFLScience brings us word that some researchers at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science have come up with a breakthrough technology that could make the Droid Turbo 2’s display seem positively fragile by comparison.

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The secret behind this new type of hybrid glass is that it contains aluminum oxide compounds that are renowned for being extremely tough. The new glass is both shatterproof and highly resistant to scratching — in fact, it seems that only diamonds are harder than the specific kinds of compounds used.

While this sounds simple, it turns out that making hybrid glass with these kinds of compounds has proven to be extremely difficult in the past.

“Specific aluminum oxides are referred to as ‘alumina’ mixtures, and although their remarkable properties have been known for some time now, the chemistry required to add them to glass has always proved difficult to put into practice,” explains IFLScience. “Whenever material scientists have previously tried to mix alumina with glass, they’ve always used a container; unfortunately, the liquid mixture begins to crystallize out on the corners and edges of the container before it’s had a chance to mingle properly with the glass.”

The researchers behind this project hope to commercialize their breakthrough within the next five years, though we wouldn’t hold our breath waiting for this kind of glass to be standard on every window or smartphone.

Learn more about this new glass hybrid by clicking here.

Prior to joining BGR as News Editor, Brad Reed spent five years covering the wireless industry for Network World. His first smartphone was a BlackBerry but he has since become a loyal Android user.