10 Incredible Man-made Substances

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10One-Way Bulletproof Glass

Matt Weber: September 17, 2013 | 143,076 views
The problems of the ultra-rich are different than yours or mine. Going by the market forces that gave us this entry, the ultra-rich worry about the fact that the bulletproof glass that may save their lives would also stop them from shooting back.

Enter one way ballistic glass: it stops bullets from one side only, allowing return fire. How is this wizardry achieved, you ask? By sandwiching two sheets of different plastics together — a brittle acrylic layer, and a softer, more elastic, polycarbonate layer. The acrylic forms a very hard surface under pressure. When a bullet strikes this side, the layer flattens it before shattering, dissipating its energy. It is then possible for the shock-absorbing back layer to contain the bullet (and the shards of acrylic) without breaking.

When shot from the other side however, the bullet hits the polycarbonate first, stretching it initially. This bending shatters the brittle acrylic behind, leaving no resistance once the bullet punches through, thus allowing the target to become the shooter. But don’t get too cocky — you just put a hole in your shield.

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9Liquid Glass

Once upon a time, dish soap didn’t exist. In the past, pans were washed with soda, vinegar, silver sand, Vim or wire wool, but a new spray-on coating could save plenty of labor and make dish soap itself obsolete. Liquid Glass combines silicon dioxide with water or ethanol to make a spray that dries to form a layer of “flexible, super-durable glass“. The layer is invisible (500 times thinner than a human hair), non-toxic and repels liquids.

Liquid Glass would eliminate the need for scrubbing, and make most cleaning products unnecessary, because it also renders surfaces anti-bacterial. Microbes landing on the surface have a hard time staying there. Throw out your bleach and simply turn on to sterilize a kitchen sink . This means that in medical applications, a treated surface could be sterilised with only hot water, with no need for chemical disinfectants.

The coating can be used to treat plants fungal infections and to seal corks for better bottle seals. We aren’t trying to sell it here (promise!), but this stuff repels liquids, is non-toxic, flexible, anti-bacterial, breathable, durable and invisible. Oh, and its also dirt cheap. Either it’s a miracle, or the fine print is invisible, too. Time will tell.

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