NSF Looking To Keep Glass A High-Tech Engineering Material

The National Science Foundation is on the lookout for investigators who can see beyond today’s frontiers of knowledge and will take a stab at the moving frontiers that lie beyond our current horizon, NSF director Arden L.

Bement, Jr., told a group of top international glass scientists and high-level glass industry representatives gathered in Washington, D.C., earlier this month.

The International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass (IMI-NFG) was established by the NSF in 2004 to promote wide ranging collaborations between U.S. glass researchers and their counterparts in business and academia worldwide. These partnerships are meant to ensure that glass, which has contributed immeasurably to modern technology, will remain a high-tech material of choice in the 21st century.

This 1st International Workshop on Scientific Challenges of New Functionalities in Glass focused on two technical advances of importance to industry: glass for electronic applications and Nanostructured glasses. From shrinking electronic components to hybrid electric vehicles and all-solid-state lithium batteries, glass will be the material of choice said researchers from Penn State University in the U.S. and Osaka Prefecture University in Japan. George Sakoske of Ferro Corporation highlighted the importance of glass in energy conservation when he pointed out that more energy is lost in the U.S. through the windows of buildings than is pumped through the Alaskan pipeline.

An Industry Leaders’ Panel drawn from the world’s largest international glass manufacturers mapped out a direction for research in glass science and technology that could lead to significant applications in the future. High-level representatives from PPG Industries, USA; Saint-Gobain, France; Schott, Germany; Asahi Glass, Japan, Corning, USA; and Nippon Electric Glass, Japan gathered for the first time under the banner of the International Materials Institute for New Functionalities in Glass, promoting the IMI mission of international collaboration.

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