Structural glass

I bang on here a lot about the use by the latest wave of modernist architects of glass, most recently in this posting. And of course there is the way that glass now fills modern life with multiple and complex reflections.

Well here is another glass based posting, this time featuring some techies who are concerned with the ever more impressive structural qualities of glass. Basically, they want to make a entire footbridge out of the stuff:

That’s it really. The details of what these particular techies are doing to the particular sort of glass they are playing around with are not my point, although the last thing I’d want to do is try to stop you pursuing this matter by reading everything at the other end of the second link above, if that’s what you now want to do. What is my point is that nobody in the glass business would be in the least bit surprised to be told about such a research effort. Making glass stronger? But of course.

Glass used to be the very definition of fragile. Not any more. The only place glass still shatters at all regularly, spewing bits in all directions, is in the movies. Try running through a big window in real life, and it will be a similar experience to running into a wall. The main difference is that you’ll probably bounce back rather more. Glass does that these days, for the same reason trees have always bent in the wind. (A fact which can do wonderful things with those reflections.)

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