Tokyo – Researchers based at Tokyo Institute of Technology have developed a new form of ‘rubber-like’ glass which may have applications in high temperature or strongly oxidative environments
Flexible substances that can withstand high temperatures are much sought after for various industrial and engineering applications. Types of glass made from oxides are hard at room temperature and fracture easily, but scientists at Tokyo Institute of Technology and Asahi Glass Co. Ltd in Yokohama have uncovered a certain kind of oxide glass – so-called mixed alkali metaphosphate glass – that behaves quite differently when it is stretched from a supercooled liquid state.
Seiji Inaba, Setsuro Ito and Hideo Hosono study oxide glasses that possess structures similar to those of organic rubbers, consisting of soft, long, straight chain molecules. The team discovered that metaphosphate glass expands and contracts rather like rubber at a temperature close to the ‘glass transition temperature’ (the point at which glass changes state from a super-cooled liquid to a solid).