“3TGlass – Ultra-strong glass sheet for large-area applications through super-efficient side-selective ion exchange”

German Ministry of Science and Education

The present project aims for a novel and unique processing technology for providing large-area functional glass sheet with strongly improved mechanical strength. This technology will play a key-role in next-generation applications of multi-functional glasses in transport, energy-efficient building technologies, façade engineering, agriculture/green houses and desalination stills.

Chemically toughened glass with its superior mechanical reliability has become a high-value keystone component in various applications, e.g., displays, handheld electronic devices, and, increasingly, automotive glazing. However, due to cost, throughput and specific technical challenges, today’s applications are still very limited to mostly small-area sheet. When the conventional chemical toughening process is applied to float glasses, the difference in surface composition between tin-side and atmosphere-side results in differing diffusion behaviour and, hence, differing compressive strength of the two glass sides. Especially with thin flat glasses, this causes unwanted bending and waviness of the final product, calling for alternative strategies of surface modification in the industrialization of chemical toughening with float glass as the benchmark material for mass-market applications. This is a collaboration with TUBITAK and companies Sisecam (TK) and JSJ Jodeit (DE).