Smart Transparent Metallic Glass

In the world of Star Trek, “transparent aluminum” was described as being stronger and lighter than plexiglas. The article below discusses how “smart” glass that can react dynamically to changing light conditions is becoming more cost effective. Previous developments in technology point toward metallic versions of glass that are stronger than steel. The ability to embed flexible printed electronics in most of our environment is also near. As these areas converge, we will find inexpensive electronic components embedded inside tough, transparent materials, enabling them to do far more than just react to light changes. The new glass will have the ability to calculate, store, and display information, eventually making it a smarter form of glass.

How Window Glass Is Getting Smarter – [technologyreview.com]

A material that selectively blocks heat and light could finally make it practical to add smart windows to buildings.

Many experts see the emerging technology of “smart” or “dynamic” windows—which use glass whose transmittance of solar radiation can be changed on demand by applying heat (thermochromic), light (photochromic), or electricity (electrochromic)—as a promising way to curb the consumption of energy for cooling and lighting buildings. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has estimated that widespread use of the technology could decrease energy use in the U.S. by about 5 percent. The market for smart glass remains minuscule, however, and is mostly confined to niche applications like tintable rearview mirrors in cars. Demand for smart windows is low because the upfront costs are prohibitively high for most potential buyers.

SEE ALSO:
Tough Metallic Glass
Glass Grows Up
Thin, Flexible, Wearable Electronics
Electronic Textiles

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