Tools so tiny that they are difficult to see, are solving the problems of carving patterns in glass, ceramics and other brittle materials, according to a Penn State engineer.
"Even very brittle materials like glass will cut smoothly at a micron level," says Dr. Eric R. Marsh, associate professor of mechanical engineering. "The tools we are making are small enough so that the brittle materials behave like a malleable material like aluminum, producing smooth curly chips of glass or ceramic."
Normally, brittle materials come apart in large uncontrolled chunks or they simply fracture completely. The researchers are trying to control the machining process so that well-defined, accurate, microscopic patterns can be created in brittle materials.
Andrea Elyse Messer | EurekAlert!
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