Sam Challe- Blog 5
“Imagine a glass window that’s tough like armor, a camera lens that doesn’t get scratched in a sand storm, or a smart phone that doesn’t break when dropped” (phys.org). The only difference is that this material isn’t glass, it’s a special ceramic. This ceramic called spinel has been used and tested by the military over the past 10 years. It is also known as “magnesium aluminate” and is looking to make its way into the commercial world.
This ceramic seems like the next best thing combining transparency with durability. The every day use of the material seems like a no brainer when we look at buildings and new technology. However the material can only now be made into 30 inch diameter pieces. This limits the use of it on buildings as windows or other transparent materials. If it can be produced in sheets at 30 inches then why isn’t it being used for smartphones, tablets and computers? These technologies all have screens far smaller than 30 inches and are looking to be made indestructible today.
We have seen great advances today in window technology and smart phone technology. Windows have been made bigger, smarter, and more curvilinear in some cases while gadgets like smartphones have been tested and made water proof. But why not make small windows unbreakable from kids running around playing baseball? Or use this ceramic to be a better insulator than windows of today? Or allow your phone to be dropped while you collide with a person in the street, pick it up, and realize it has not shattered but nearly chipped. These possibilities can and will be explored in the future and hopefully this military grade material will find its way to commercial uses.