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Researchers develop game-changing new glass that is 10 times more resistant than glass used today: ‘It won’t break at all’

A new form of glass could open up possibilities for this material – being much less breakable and much less energy-intensive.

Researchers at Penn State University recently applied for a patent on the breakthrough invention, which they have named LionGlass after their school’s mascot – the Nittany Lions.

The research team reported that the new glass consumes about 30% less energy than traditional glass and promises to release half the carbon pollution that contributes to warming the planet.

The researchers reported that LionGlass is also at least 10 times more resistant to breakage than normal glass, although the limits of its strength are not yet known, as their tests could not measure them.

“We kept adding weight to LionGlass until we reached the maximum load the device could deliver,” Nick Clark, a postdoctoral fellow on the research team, said in a statement. “It won’t break.”

Nevertheless, researchers have cracked the code on the heat-trapping gas emitted from glass production. Although glass manufacturing accounts for only 0.3% of all heat-trapping carbon released worldwide, the amount still amounts to about 95 million tons each year, according to a paper in the Journal of Industrial Ecology.

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According to the Environmental Protection Agency, this is equivalent to the heat-trapping pollution of more than 19 million gas-powered vehicles driven in a year.

The traditional way to make glass is to apply extreme heat to a mixture of three substances: quartz sand, soda ash, and limestone. According to Glass International, the melting temperature of traditional glass can exceed 2,700 degrees Fahrenheit. Heating the material is responsible for most of the energy use and pollution of the process, although the chemical reactions involved also cause pollution.

Lionglass has a different batch of input materials, with a melting temperature as low as 720 degrees Fahrenheit. This reduces energy consumption by about one third. The raw material also has less carbon.

“Our goal is to make glass manufacturing sustainable for the long term,” Professor John Mauro, the project’s lead researcher, said in a Penn State release.

Due to the strength of LionGlass, Mauro also hopes that products using it can become thinner and lighter, which could lead to further benefits.

“If we have a lighter-weight product, it’s even better for the environment, because we use less raw materials to make it and require less energy,” he said. There could still be greater savings by looking at lighter weight products, he said. transportation.

Researchers are still assessing the potential of Lionglass.

As BBC News noted, “Few details are available about LionGlass, as the research has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal and the team only recently filed a patent application.”

The outlet reported that it may have some limitations, such as not being usable for smartphone screens because it can’t handle high temperatures during production.

Still, there are many other potential applications, and the team is looking for patents for the entire “family of glasses” in different compositions that could help the world in a variety of ways.

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