Department of Materials- and Process-Technology - Glass and Composites
Glass is a technologically important and versatile material, which at first glance often seems inconspicuous. Thanks to its adjustable optical, mechanical and chemical properties, glass can be used in many fields of application. Flat glasses for architecture and the automotive industry as well as container glasses for the packaging industry are produced from simple soda lime silicate glasses. Glass fibres from the aluminium borosilicate system serve as reinforcing fibres in plastics for wind turbines and optical glass fibres enable fast and worldwide communication. Optical glass is also the basis of precision optics for medicine, micro- and telescopes and photolithography, which can be used to produce the latest computer chips. In the life sciences, bioglasses are used to cultivate cells in the laboratory and to renew bones in the human body.
The versatility of glasses can be further increased by growing crystals in glasses. The best known examples of so-called glass-ceramics are zero expansion glass-ceramics, which are used as cook tops or for large telescope mirrors. As a dental material, glass ceramics enable the long-term restoration of teeth.
In order to enable the above-mentioned applications, new glass compositions and processes are required. With the three main research fields glass development and thermochemistry, process engineering and glass ceramics and composites, our department researches the different aspects of glass and glass ceramics as well as the different manufacturing processes. Current issues such as CO2-free glass production, circular economy and alternative melting technologies are addressed as well as basic glass structure analyses and application-oriented adjustment and functionalization of material properties. As a reliable partner, we also support glass manufacturers and suppliers with our expertise.