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This disclosure involves a new spinel and glass micro-composite material and process for making such. The composite has excellent transmission in the 0.5-5.0 μm wavelength region suitable for various visible and mid IR applications utilizing windows, domes and other geometric shapes. The composite can be made at a temperature about 40% lower than the glass melting temperature and about 50% lower than the spinel sintering temperature. The composite material has high modulus and fracture toughness which are important for impact resistance in armor and other practical applications.