Forms silicon dioxide like a polymer
Glass is extremely useful, but it is energy intensive to make due to the high melting temperature and processing methods that require melting. Mother and others. bypassed the need to melt glass using a plastic nanocomposite of silica for injection molding (see Perspective by Dylla-Spears). The low temperature injection mold can produce parts in just 5 seconds with high spatial resolution. The strategy provides a different and potentially less energy-intensive method for mass production of glass parts.
Science, this edition p. 182; see also p. 126
Glass is one of the most relevant high-performance materials that has the advantage of a favorable impact on the environment compared to other raw materials. Despite the favorable properties of the glasses, polymers are often preferred because they can be processed using scalable industrial replication techniques such as injection molding (IM). The glasses are mostly processed by melting, which is an energy-intensive and technological challenge. We present a process for glassmakers that uses a high-throughput IM of an amorphous nanocomposite of silica that combines established technological technologies and low-energy sintering. We produce highly transparent glass using classic IM and sintering, which enables a potentially significant reduction in energy consumption. Our strategy combines polymer and glass processing, with significant implications for the use of glass.