High profile leaders and government buildings all around the world can
be targets of terrorist attacks at any given moment. Many of these officials
and buildings are protected with defenses that are designed to protect the
people inside buildings and vehicles. One of the more common types of
protection is glass that is both bullet and bomb resistant.
According to the Pentagon, glass shards are one of the leading causes
of death in many bombing attacks. The problem with the blast-resistant glass on
the market today is that the material is very thick and can’t fit into the
windowpanes in existing buildings. The glass is said to be about as thick as a
A team of engineers from the University of Missouri and the University
of Sydney in Australia has developed a new type of blast-resistant glass that is much
thinner than the current glass, but has the same blast-resistant properties as
the thick stuff. The new glass is about a quarter-inch thick and is made from a
plastic composite with an inert layer of polymer reinforced with glass fibers.
The team testing the glass has already exposed a small test panel to an
Sanjeev Khanna, the project's principal investigator and an associate
professor of mechanical engineering at Missouri said, "The results were
fantastic. While the discharge left the pane cracked, the front surface
remained completely intact."
The new glass gets its strength from the use of long glass fibers in a
woven cloth that is soaked in liquid plastic and then bonded with adhesive. The
resulting glass is very strong, thin, and clear. The current thick
blast-resistant glass has a green tinge.
The new glass would also fit existing windowpanes.
an affordable, easy-to-install blast-resistant window could encourage
widespread use in civilian structures, thereby protecting the lives of
occupants against multiple threats and hazards," notes John Fortune,
manager of the project for the Infrastructure and Geophysical Division at
Tests with larger explosions and larger glass sheets are planned.
quote: I was going to say, if they can get this stuff cheap enough, any physics people want to chime in on how this might do in say, a tornado? Glass is such a brittle part of a building right now, you would think that if they could make it more stable and less dangerous (dangerous in extreme conditions at least), this could be huge.