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Collaborative Success Stories: Window of Opportunity


Blast-resistant glass developed at the University of Missouri could save lives.

During disasters, fast-flying shards of glass are a leading cause of injury and death. Blast-resistant glass is installed in federal buildings and other critical infrastructure, but its thickness, weight and high cost make widespread use impractical.

Now, Dr. Sanjeev Khanna and other MU engineers have partnered with the University of Sydney in Australia to create blast-resistant glass that is only a quarter-inch thick, lightweight and strong. The strength comes from a layer of long glass fibers, each 15-25 micrometers in diameter—about half the thickness of a typical human hair. The fibers are woven into a cloth, bonded with liquid resin, and sandwiched between two thin sheets of tempered glass with an adhesive.

Khanna’s research was funded by the Science and Technology Directorate of the Department of Homeland Security to protect against explosions. However, the glass would also protect against hurricane damage. Because of this, widespread installation of the glass could save billions of dollars in damage and prevent countless injuries.

Dr. Sanjeev Khanna is a C.W. LaPierre Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in MU’s College of Engineering, director of energy solutions and research in the Midwest Energy Efficiency Research Consortium and assistant director of the Missouri Industrial Assessment Center.

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Related Initiative(s):
Sustainable Energy