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clear aluminum

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  • clear aluminum

    Some years back I read in Popular Science about battle tank windows being made of clear aluminum. It would bend or dent rather than shatter if impacted. I'd like to believe that it's possible to formulate a metallic substance that's clear, and I'd love to try machining something like that. Have a laugh on me if I got sucked in by an April issue. Anyone know anything about this?
    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

  • #2

    I think perhaps you were the victim of a joke. I just retired last year from the Army. I spent 20 years as an Ordnance Officer (not ammo). We fix tanks, trucks, guns, radios, generators, etc. I worked on M60A1, M1A1 and M1A2 main battle tanks, self-propelled howitzers, and armored personnel carriers. None of these vehicles have windows per se. What they do have are "vision blocks." These vision blocks are very thick, shatter-resistance glass, and are often optically coupled to a prism(s). This scheme basically equates to a short periscope for the driver, gunner or vehicle commander when the tank, etc. is "buttoned up."

    No aluminum windows. The M113 series armored personnel carrier hulls are made from an aluminum alloy, but it's not clear. Hope this helps.




    • #3
      Scotty used this material in a star trek movie. Don't remember the name of the movie, but I do remember he used it to build a large invisible container to ship a whale.
      Oh if it were true! Got some invisible aluminum projects I'd like to build.



      • #4
        You might want to sniff around the San Fransisco area. When Kirk, Spock, and all came back in time to haul a whale into the future to save the earth, they needed something to carry it in. Scotty found himself in a shop in the SF area, and since he didn't have any money, he traded the guy the formula for 'Transparent Aluminium'!

        LOL I bet the army's just trying to keep it secret!


        You stole my thunder tech! Guess I need to learn to typr faster.

        [This message has been edited by rickv (edited 02-22-2003).]


        • #5
          Aluminum Oxide is Clear


          • #6
            This may not help but why not get a tin of tartan paint it may not be clear but its interesting.Alistair
            Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


            • #7
              That's the movie where Chekhov asks a patrolman how to get to the nearest "nuclear wessel". Could you imagine asking that today?

              Transparent aluminum would keep the shop a lot cleaner ... looking.

              Maybe we have made some in the past and can no longer find it



              • #8
                It was the fourth one I think. And they didn't actually use it in the movie they traded the formula for it for some plexiglass because they had no money.


                • #9
                  No can do. The qualities that make metals what they are, is a result of their electron configuration. They conduct electricty and heat very well, and by the same token, they reflect light.



                  • #10
                    I have very carefully analyzed Scotty's formula from the clip seen in the movie and have been able to make a sample of Transparent Aluminum. It is all possible with household materials in a standard kitchen oven. If you would like a copy of the formula, please send $10,000 to me no later than Thursday... after which I'll be offering it on e-bay and the price will probably go much higher!



                    • #11
                      It is an interesting idea which should work as I know for a fact that this can be done with gold. They say an ounce of gold is so malleable it can be beaten into a sheet that will cover nearly a football field (U K field that is ).There is a large petroleum building in Holland Shell oil I think that had all the windows covered with about two ounces of gold with a very fine film so as to keep out reflect out the suns rays in the summer so perhaps there is a way of making aluminun thin enough to do the same Alistair
                      Please excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease


                      • #12
                        We don't want no stinking thin film of aluminum man! We need to transport things like whales in the stuff. I want a big thick hunk of the stuff for my projects! Invisible billet wheels for my race car, invisible beer cans, invisible aluminum baseball bats, the list is endless.

                        Rotate: Isn't sand made out of silicon? Isn't it a semi conductor? Doesn't it conduct electricity like metals? Don't they make glass outta sand? Isn't glass clear? Nuf said.
                        OK, my logic may have minor flaws here and there, but I'm sure Scotty thought this out thoroughly.

                        Enterprise beam me up, Matt


                        • #13
                          You really got to watch those guys at Popular Science I once saw an ad for a "solar clothes dryer"in the back of one issue.Turns out it was some clothes pins and a roll of line for$29.95! The Star Trek in question I believe was "The Voyage Home"and as a die hard Trekkie I can say that Kirk Rules!My kinda captin he got all the babes!

                          [This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 02-22-2003).]
                          I just need one more tool,just one!


                          • #14
                            Any material, when made thin enough (thickness measured in atoms) will allow light to pass through. This is because there's alway ample gap between atoms for the photons to pass through. Ligh is either obsorbed, relfected, or passes through as a result of the interaction between the wave length of the photon and the energy state of the electrons (i.e. the oribital configuration) of the atom.


                            Sand is largely made of silicon oxide, but once metal forms a compound it often does not exihbits metal like qualities. It actually becomes a different beast altogher. Your analogy of silicon becoming clear is like arguing that water is really gas because it was once oxygen and hydrogen.



                            • #15
                              Clear aluminum? I think they make post holes out of it.