transparent aluminum

From: justin corwin (
Date: Sun Feb 24 2002 - 23:01:32 MST

This small item details the apparent manufacture of small quantities
of "tranparent aluminum"

it's listed as a weapon's technology, but i have to wonder, is this kind
of thing useful as a spacecraft material? and baking extremely finegrained
aluminum into transparency kind of implies this can be done to other
metals. titanium windows, anyone?

i'm kind of interested into what kind of equipment is really neccesary
for this kind of industry. i know heavy industry is dirty, big, and based
mostly on economies of scale. dominated by big players like AK steel
and so forth, but what if you're just interested in small quantities?
how hard is it to machine or work titanium/steel/aluminum? (no doubt
i've labeled myself, i realize they are fantastically different metals,
i'm just grouping them for basic metallurgic ignorance. also, is it realistic
to use titanium for lots of stuff, or is it just too expensive? or does
it not give advantages vs price?

woof. that was quite the paragraph of questions:

now for a little more grounded prose. is it technically feasible at this
point to begin developing programmable manufacture in these metals, within
certain bounds? that sounds like a fantastically interesting field(to
me as a programmer, anyway) or is all this silly. is the future in all
composites and carbon-fiber diamondoid constructions? is titanium no
longer cutting edge? is transparent aluminum all that useful?

i'm just bounding full of questions today, but that' just because materials
engineering is so darn interesting, and i know so little about it.

or maybe i just want to be the first guy on my block with a transparent
car engine. (that would be COOOL!) motorcyles that are even more impossible
to see at night. ultra stealth, imagine aircraft wings you can see through.
like glass. oooh, makes me shiver all over. glass houses, metaphor or
future fad?

i love technology.

one million more!

justin corwin - email
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