Blast-proof glass keeps you safe without spoiling the view

Everybody should have explosion-resistant windows. You know, just in case your house gets assaulted by kids with baseballs, tornadoes, or rogue cruise missiles. The University of Missouri has come up with some new glass that's super strong, very thin, and perfectly transparent.

Conventional blast-resistant (or bullet-proof) glass gets its strength in a large part from its thickness, which makes it difficult and expensive to install. This new type of glass, on the other hand, is only a quarter of an inch thick, making it easy to use pretty much wherever you want. Since regular glass can be more dangerous when it shatters than whatever actually causes it to shatter, being able to swap reinforced glass in for regular glass has the potential to keep you that much safer.

The glass gets its strength from an internal layer of long glass fibers that are each thinner than a hair. The fibers are woven together into a flexible sheet which is soaked in plastic resin, and then a thin piece of glass is stuck to each side to make a glass sandwich. The sandwich isn't just extremely strong, it's also entirely transparent, without the greenish tint that conventional high-strength glass has.

Watch a pane of this glass fail to get blown up by some explosive in the video below, and look for commercial availability in about three years.

Eurekalert, via io9

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