This is a pretty cool video that gives a basic overview of anodizing aluminum, a surface protection that you’ll find on many, many products around you. Kinda amazing that corrosion can be used to product such awesome finishes!
Trekkie of the world, rejoice! Transparent aluminum is moving ever closer to real, viable products. Under heat and pressure, aluminum oxynitride powder is fused into a clear (after polishing) material that proves more bullet resistant than laminate glass (a 1.6″ thick panel performed better than a 3.7″ piece of laminate glass). And impresses your friends. Current applications are high-priced bullet-resistant windows, battlefield optics, etc.