September 11, 2009

New blast-resistant glass thinner, lighter

Researchers at the University of Missouri say they're testing a new blast-resistant glass that is thinner and lighter than current varieties.

The glass we are developing is less than one-half of an inch thick, said professor Sanjeev Khanna of the university's school of engineering. Because the glass panel will be thinner, it will use less material and be cheaper than what is currently being used.

The glass could be used in federal buildings, security vehicles and in windows in hurricane areas, he said.

Conventional blast-resistant glass is made by placing a layer of plastic between sheets of glass. Khanna's team has replaced the plastic layer with a transparent composite material made of glass fibers embedded in plastic.

The composite is stronger, thinner and lighter than plastic and leaves little room for defects that could lead to cracking, the university said in a release Friday.