News Link • Science, Medicine and Technology

Did You Know That Transparent Aluminum Exists?

• OhGizmo
Maybe you watched Star Trek IV and thought the idea of having a whale tank made from transparent aluminum to be one of those far fetched sci-fi gimmicks. But would you be surprised to find out that at the time the movie was made, that particular material already existed? Not from the metallic aluminum you know and love, mind you, but from an aluminum-based ceramic called aluminum oxynitride, aka “AlON.” You may be thinking to yourself that this is not the same, but hey, this is still a transparent, aluminum-based material that is capable of stopping a .50 bullet with a plate 1.6 inches in thickness. A 3.7 inch slab of laminate glass not only doesn’t stop this same bullet, but lets it go through with enough speed for it to do some serious damage to a dummy skull on the other side.

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