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September 26, 2017

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Tough new glass inspired by strength of mollusk shell

The new method to address this weakness was "very economical," said Barthelat.

"All that is needed is a pulsed laser beam which can be accurately focused at pre-determined points.

"Our 3D laser engraving technique can easily be scaled up and applied to larger and thicker components of different shapes."

Previous attempts to copy the sturdy structure of mollusk shells had focused on creating new materials by assembling miniscule "building blocks" — like building a microscopic wall.

"Our idea was to attack the problem from a new angle: start with a large block of material with no initial microstructure and carve weaker interfaces within it," said Barthelat.

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