Usable Glass Strength Coalition Awards Research Grant to Pennsylvania State University

The Usable Glass Strength Coalition (UGSC) today announced the award of $110,000 for a grant to Pennsylvania State University (PSU), University Park, Pennsylvania, to carry out research that aims to improve the understanding of manufactured glass products’ strength properties.

We are fortunate to be able to fund ground breaking research that is only possible at institutions such as Penn State that have both the facilities and the technical minds capable of solving the fundamental science behind the factors that control the strength of glass,” said Pete McGinnis, UGSC Board Chairman and Glass Science and Technology Leader at Owens Corning.The research, Controlling and understanding reactive surface sites on multicomponent glasses, will be led by co-principle investigators, Seong H.Kim, PhD, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and Carlo Pantano, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. The aim of the study is to characterize the distribution and chemical nature of reactive surface sites on glass that nucleate strength-controlling defects. As stated in the PSU research abstract, “It is reasonable to expect that the existence and concentration of strengthcontrolling atomic and nano-scale defect precursors depend on the surface cooling rate and the local atmosphere. These processing variables could provide an effective means to controlling and enhancing the strength of glass through irreversible chemical (or physical) passivation of these defect precursors at the time of their creation.”

“Glass strength is a grand challenge for both industry and academia. It will take time and multiple approaches, but working together we have a chance to meet the challenge, and at the same time, train the next generation of glass scientists and engineers,” said Dr. Pantano.

Under the auspices of the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC), the UGSC is a cross industry coalition that serves a mission to advance, develop and promote fundamental, precompetitive research applicable to increasing the strength of glass across all glass sectors (container, flat, specialty, fiber, etc.); to provide an opportunity for glass researchers to develop expertise in areas suitable for industrial applications, and to develop tools and measurement techniques for the advancement of glass science. The Coalition collaboratively funds and guides a research program to allow development and commercialization activities outside the Coalition and apart from the individual participants.

“The fact that the glass manufacturing industry companies have put aside their competitive differences for common benefit and jointly funded fundamental research into glass strength is an encouraging development in our industry,” said Robert Weisenburger Lipetz, Secretary of the UGSC and Executive Director of the GMIC.

Coalitions for conducting basic research are becoming more common, as they leverage resources and share risks across companies for a common purpose. Alone, most companies are unable to fund basic research.

The mission of the Coalition is to place all research results in the public domain and not to seek patent protection. However, Coalition participants have the benefit of having access to the research results prior to the results being made public.

Research is to commence October 1, 2013, with initial funding for one year.

The Usable Glass Strength Coalition is currently accepting additional participants. Interested parties should contact Chairman of the Board, Peter B. McGinnis, PhD, at (740) 321-5753,, or UGSC Secretary and Administrator, Robert Weisenburger Lipetz, MBA, at (614) 818-9423, .

600450 Usable Glass Strength Coalition Awards Research Grant to Pennsylvania State University

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