Shatterproof cell phones step closer thanks to Australian research

Updated 2017-12-12 17:03:14 Xinhua

Cell phone manufacturers could soon be able to advertize shatterproof devices, thanks to Australian-led research which could soon be used to create glass which is harder to shatter, fracture and break.

Led by researchers at Canberra's Australian National University (ANU), the international study of glass at a molecular level could soon help manufacturers to scientifically alter the structure of glass to create a product which is stronger and more resistant to scratches and bumps.

In a media release published on Tuesday, Dr. Charles Le Losq from the ANU Research School of Earth Sciences said the team closely analyzed glass from many different sources, and found the different make-ups of different glasses had varying effects on the rigidity and flexibility of the final product.

"The glasses we analyzed are mostly composed of aluminium and silicon oxides, and can also contain various elements such as sodium, potassium, calcium or magnesium, each element influences the flexibility and resistance of the glass," Le Losq said.

He said while on the first glance, glass appears to be structured "randomly", it was actually quite organized and uniform a microscopic level.

Le Losq added that the breakthrough could soon allow scientists to develop their own, highly resistant glass - something he said cell phone manufacturers would no doubt love to use in their products.

"Everyone knows how frustrating it is when you drop your mobile device and get a large crack in the screen," he said on Tuesday.

And, in addition to the prospect of shatterproof cell phones, Le Losq said the research also helped the team shed light on the role that lava played in the "original formation of Earth and its surface".

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