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Hmmm.I think they need some side-by-side comparisons.Cast Iron?Spring Steel?Surgical Steel?http://www.technologyreview.com/computing/27046/page1/Shatter proof: An electron micrograph taken after a bending test. The sample did not fracture.Credit: Maximilien E. Launey It appears from the photo that virtually all the strength of the sample is lost from their stress test. But, like Geezer says, the actual data seems to be sparse.Geezer,Here is some data... I think.Can you make heads or tails of it?http://nextbigfuture.com/2011/01/glass-stronger-than-steel-is-now.htmlThe future is likely to bring new ceramics and glasses with some amazing properties. Like the reusable space shuttle tiles (if they could only get them stuck on so they don't keep falling off).I think they're saying the heat tolerance is low on this new "glass"... Perhaps it is what people have been calling "Pot Metal" for decades, except this is very expensive Pot Metal.
If you are only talking about one dimension of strength, like ultimate tensile strength for example, I think carbon nanotubes beat everything else hands down (in the lab at least).
Carbon nanotubes are wonderful... if everything you're building is a few mm long, and perhaps a few angstrom in diameter.
Strangely enough, I can take a piece of steel and make it so hard that it will behave more like glass than steel, and shatter if I subject it to impact.
If you could make it transparent as well - then we would be really impressed
Quote from: imatfaal on 12/01/2011 16:07:09If you could make it transparent as well - then we would be really impressedOf course it's transparent (to some electromagnetic radiation).
Quote from: Geezer on 12/01/2011 18:10:10Quote from: imatfaal on 12/01/2011 16:07:09If you could make it transparent as well - then we would be really impressedOf course it's transparent (to some electromagnetic radiation).The sort of electromagnetic radiation that if it does get through you get very ill?