• vitrification
  • Formation of a glassy or noncrystalline material.
Abstract from DBPedia
    Vitrification (from Latin vitreum, "glass" via French vitrifier) is the transformation of a substance into a glass, that is to say, a non-crystalline amorphous solid. Glasses differ from liquids structurally and glasses possess a higher degree of connectivity with the same Hausdorff dimensionality of bonds as crystals: dimH = 3. In the production of ceramics, vitrification is responsible for its impermeability to water. Vitrification is usually achieved by heating materials until they liquidize, then cooling the liquid, often rapidly, so that it passes through the glass transition to form a glassy solid. Certain chemical reactions also result in glasses. In terms of chemistry, vitrification is characteristic for amorphous materials or disordered systems and occurs when bonding between elementary particles (atoms, molecules, forming blocks) becomes higher than a certain threshold value. Thermal fluctuations break the bonds; therefore, the lower the temperature, the higher the degree of connectivity. Because of that, amorphous materials have a characteristic threshold temperature termed glass transition temperature (Tg): below Tg amorphous materials are glassy whereas above Tg they are molten. The most common applications are in the making of pottery, glass, and some types of food, but there are many others, such as the vitrification of an antifreeze-like liquid in cryopreservation. In a different sense of the word, the embedding of material inside a glassy matrix is also called vitrification. An important application is the vitrification of radioactive waste to obtain a substance that is hopefully safer and more stable for disposal. During the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 C.E. a victim's brain was vitrified by the extreme heat of the volcanic ash.