This is one of those things that just doesn’t sound like it should work at all: Somehow melting together glass and metal to combine into one, unified, part-glass/part-metal mongrel whole. If it could be done, it would be a breakthrough for automobile manufacturing, which is all about combining glass and metal. Well, it seems that researchers at Edinburgh, Scotland’s Heriot-Watt University have figured it out. With lasers.
Professor Duncan P. Hand and his research team have developed a process called “ultrafast laser microwelding,” which uses very, very short pulses of infrared laser light to fuse two dissimilar materials together. The Heriot-Watt system tested the method on quartz, borosilicate glass, sapphire and aluminum, titanium, and and stainless steel.