A team of scientists, at the University of Tokyo’s Institute of Industrial Science, has created an entirely new type of glass that is nearly as tough as steel.

According to the researchers, the breakthrough could herald a whole new generation of incredibly sturdy windows and tableware. What is more, it could be used to produce super-durable displays for a range of electronics, including smartphones, tablets and computers.

Recently published in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal, the research involved the development of a new, and more innovative, technique of glass production. Commonly-available varieties of glass contain silica (i.e. silicon dioxide), which is in turn strengthened by adding small amounts of alumina, an oxide of aluminium. However, mixing in larger quantities of the substance actually causes crystallization of the glass upon contact with the container.

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