Etched glass stops cracks in their tracks

Adding wavy lines reduces material’s notorious brittleness

By Meghan Rosen, 10:21 AM January 28, 2014

Carving squiggly lines into glass can actually toughen it up. The new engraving technique could keep wine glasses, windowpanes and medical implants from shattering. It might even beef up bulletproof glass.

Ordinary bulletproof glass relies on a sandwich of glass, plastic and a rubbery glue called polyurethane to absorb the impact of speeding projectiles. Francois Barthelat and colleagues at McGill University in Montreal used a different strategy to cushion a blow.

The researchers laser cut a wa...

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