Glass is ubiquitous, from substantial-tech products in the fields of optics, telecommunications, chemistry and drugs to day to day objects these types of as bottles and windows. Nevertheless, shaping glass is mainly dependent on procedures these types of as melting, grinding or etching. These procedures are many years old, technologically demanding, power-intensive and seriously confined in terms of the styles that can be recognized. For the 1st time, a workforce led by Prof. Dr. Bastian E. Rapp from the Laboratory of Approach Technologies at the Division of Microsystems Engineering at the University of Freiburg, in collaboration with the Freiburg-dependent start-up Glassomer, has developed a approach that would make it possible to form glass effortlessly, rapidly and in pretty much any condition utilizing injection molding. The scientists presented their benefits in the journal Science.
“For many years, glass has often been the next alternative when it comes to materials in producing procedures for the reason that its development is way too challenging, power-intensive and unsuitable for creating substantial-resolution constructions,” describes Rapp. “Polymers, on the other hand, have let all of this, but their actual physical, optical, chemical and thermal houses are inferior to glass. As a end result, we have blended polymer and glass processing. Our approach will let us to rapidly and cost-correctly change both equally mass-produced products and complex polymer constructions and parts with glass.”
Injection molding is the most essential approach in the plastics market and allows the fast and cost-effective production of parts in so-called substantial-throughput in pretty much any condition and measurement. Clear glass could not be molded in this approach till now. With the freshly developed Glassomer injection molding technologies from a distinctive granulate developed in-household, it is now possible to also mold glass in substantial throughput at just one hundred thirty °C. The injection-molded parts from the 3D printer are then transformed into glass in a warmth cure approach: The end result is pure quartz glass. This approach involves a lot less power than standard glass melting, resulting in power effectiveness. The shaped glass parts have a substantial area high-quality, so that submit-cure techniques these types of as sharpening are not essential.
The novel styles built possible by Glassomer’s glass injection molding technologies have a extensive array of apps from info technologies, optics and photo voltaic technologies to a so-called lab-on-a-chip and health-related technologies. “We see fantastic opportunity in particular for modest substantial-tech glass parts with challenging geometries. In addition to transparency, the very lower coefficient of expansion of quartz glass also would make the technologies interesting. Sensors and optics do the job reliably at any temperature if the key parts are built of glass,” describes Dr. Frederik Kotz, group leader at the Laboratory of Approach Technologies and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at Glassomer. “We have also been capable to clearly show that micro-optical glass coatings can boost the effectiveness of photo voltaic cells. This technologies can now be made use of to generate cost-effective substantial-tech coatings with substantial thermal steadiness. There are a quantity of business options for it.”
The workforce close to Frederik Kotz and Markus Mader, a doctoral student at the Laboratory of Approach Technologies, solved earlier current complications in the injection molding of glass these types of as porosity and particle abrasion. In addition, key approach techniques in the new process ended up developed to use water as the foundation content, creating the technologies far more environmentally helpful and sustainable.
Bastian Rapp is government director of the Freiburg Products Research Middle FMF and a member of the Cluster of Excellence Residing, Adaptive and Strength-autonomous Products Devices (livMatS) at the University of Freiburg, which develops novel, bio-influenced content units. Rapp is also co-founder and Chief Technological Officer (CTO) of Glassomer GmbH, which develops substantial-resolution 3D printing systems for glass. His study has earned him a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC), between other awards.
Movie: https://videoportal.uni-freiburg.de/video clip/Glass-like-plastic-processing-Bastian-Rapp/c438da06a7f18e914912eab03cd4bd56
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