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LoomisBoy

The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Transparent Aluminum No Longer a Star Trek Fantasy

In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Commander Scott traded the formula for transparent aluminum to a scientist on 20th Century Earth in exchange for the first few sheets to be produced. While I doubt the U.S. Air Force has time travelers as consultants, it is working on what can realistically be called transparent aluminum.

In a press release issued yesterday, the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio explained the current state of research and development of aluminum oxynitride (ALON) as “a new kind of transparent armor, stronger and lighter than traditional materials” that would be an improvement on existing multi-layered armored glass now in use.

“ALON is a ceramic compound with a high compressive strength and durability. When polished, it is the premier transparent armor for use in armored vehicles,” said 1st Lt. Joseph La Monica, transparent armor sub-direction lead. "The substance itself is light years ahead of glass," he said, adding that it offers "higher performance and lighter weight."

Complete details: Air Force Testing New Transparent Armor

1 Comments:

Anonymous Melinda Wharton said...

Wonder Woman had the formula for transparent aluminum way before Commander Scott: http://www.toynk.com/catalog/wonder_woman_invisible_plane_replica_3014909.htm

9:38 AM  

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