Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Next-generation glass research

A new generation of expert young researchers in glass and ceramic composites for high-technology applications will ensure a great future for the EU.
Next-generation glass research
Glass and glass-based ceramics are extremely versatile materials. They form the basis of an emerging high-technology industry, important in itself. Also, since the materials are so versatile, developing expertise in their manufacture cultivates skills in a wide range of other fields such as medicine, telecommunications, photonics and clean technologies.

The GLACERCO (Glass and ceramic composites for high technology applications) project was a multidisciplinary consortium of top-notch industrial, research and academic institutions. GLACERCO recruited 17 early-stage and 6 experienced researchers to develop innovative, cheap and eco-friendly glass-based materials and processing technologies. Researchers participated in many training programmes and workshops.

In the area of vitrification and reuse of waste, GLACERCO developed novel and cheaper porous glass-ceramic insulation. This product was patented and has great potential for quick market uptake. In addition, waste-derived glass-ceramic materials can replace porous stoneware tiles or be used for producing energy-efficient construction materials.

With regard to design of advanced composites, team members investigated reinforcements, including glass fibres, carbon nanotubes, boron nitride nanotubes and graphene. Showing improved properties over conventional options, the newly developed composites can benefit the electronic component, aerospace and petrochemical industries.

The team also successfully developed borosilicate glasses for 1.5 µm lasers with improved emission properties and reduced power consumption. Other achievements include telluride glass fibres with low attenuation and highly stable telluride glasses that can be exploited in optical sensing and thermoelectric applications, respectively.

A main project achievement was development of simple, low-cost optical sensors to provide non-destructive testing of chemical ageing in glass fibre-reinforced polymers (GFRPs). Team members demonstrated embedded evanescent sensors that can detect the early-stage moisture diffusion into GFRPs after exposure to seawater at high temperature and pressure. This achievement is particularly important for the oil and gas industry due to the significant cost savings associated with switching from traditional steel components to GFRPs.

Finally, project members developed glass-based biomaterials for drug release, bone substitution and arthroprosthesis. The innovative glass, glass-ceramic and composite coatings and scaffolds showed improved mechanical properties and bioactivity compared to the state of the art.

The methodologies implemented in GLACERCO led to several published papers and a patent file. The project video can be found here.

Related information


Glass, ceramic composites, high-technology applications, optical sensors, glass fibre-reinforced polymers
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