Sunday, April 3, 2011

Get Real

I don't know about you but I'm a pretty big fan of the whole Star Trek series.  Star Trek is show that uses advance technology and talks about what could happen.  Most of the technology they use seems unrealistic and fantastic, however every once and a while they show something that actually possible.  The link below leads to a scene from "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home."

If you didn't actually watch the video I'll sum it up for you nice and quick.  The Star Fleet offices from the future need to design a water tank large enough to carry two humpback whales back to the future to stop the destruction of Earth.  However they do not have the means to buy the materials necessary to construct such a tank.  To get the supplies needed the characters give the owner of Plexicorp the ground breaking formula to create transparent aluminum.  This material is so strong it would take six inches of traditional plexiglas to match the strength of just one of transparent aluminum.

In the real world a ceramic material called aluminium oxynitride or AlON share many of the same features of transparent aluminum.  AION belongs to a group of materials called transparent ceramics.  AlON is a stronge, clear, hard material that is often used in vehicle armor applications because it offers greater field of vision without a loss in protection.  AlON was actually tested against a .50 caliber round fired from a sniper rifle and survived. 

If you would like to learn more about transparent aluminum armors a great website to checkout is "How Stuff Work."  This article discusses the how its made, why it works and were the transparent ceramics/armor field is going.

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