Tough and Deformable Glasses With Bioinspired Cross-Ply Architectures

Acta Biomater. 2018 Jul 15;75:439-450. doi: 10.1016/j.actbio.2018.05.012. Epub 2018 Jun 1.

Abstract

Glasses are optically transparent, hard materials that have been in sustained demand and usage in architectural windows, optical devices, electronics and solar panels. Despite their outstanding optical qualities and durability, their brittleness and low resistance to impact still limits wider applications. Here we present new laminated glass designs that contain toughening cross-ply architectures inspired from fish scales and arthropod cuticles. This seemingly minor enrichment completely transforms the way laminated glass deforms and fractures, and it turns a traditionally brittle material into a stretchy and tough material with little impact on surface hardness and optical quality. Large ply rotation propagates over large volumes, and localization is delayed in tension, even if a strain softening interlayer is used, in a remarkable mechanism which is generated by the kinematics of the plies and geometrical hardening. Compared to traditional laminated glass which degrades significantly in performance when damaged, our cross-ply architecture glass is damage-tolerant and 50 times tougher in energy terms.

Statement of significance: Despite the outstanding optical qualities and durability of glass, its brittleness and low resistance to impact still limits its wider application. Here we present new laminated glass designs that contain toughening cross-ply architectures inspired from fish scales and arthropod cuticles. Enriching laminated designs with crossplies completely transforms the material deforms and fractures, and turns a traditionally brittle material into a stretchy and tough material - with little impact on surface hardness and optical quality. Large ply rotation propagates over large volumes and localization is delayed in tension because of a remarkable and unexpected geometrical hardening effect. Compared to traditional laminated glass which degrades significantly in performance when damaged, our cross-ply architecture glass is damage-tolerant and it is 50 times tougher in energy terms. Our glass-based, transparent material is highly innovative and it is the first of its kind. We believe it will have impact in broad range of applications in construction, coatings, chemical engineering, electronics, photovoltaics.

Keywords: Architectured materials; Cross-ply; Glass; Three-dimensional laser engraving; Toughness.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomimetic Materials / chemistry*
  • Glass / chemistry*