Background: Functional glass is high-performance technical glass engineered to perform specific functions for applications such as energy, information, defense, communications, transportation, and biomedicine. Functional glasses represent significant growing markets for the United States, impacting about 1.8 million employees and 55,000 companies with $830 billion in annual revenue.
Manufacture and deployment of new functional glass products for solar panels, fiber optic networks, integration of touchscreen electronics into information systems, and more require critical breakthroughs that push glass processing and performance to their limits by strategically developing and implementing advanced manufacturing technologies.
Approach: The American Ceramic Society, in collaboration with the American Precision Optics Manufacturing Association, SAE International, Corning Incorporated, the Center for Optical Materials Science and Engineering Technologies, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass, and Pennsylvania State University worked together as the Functional Glass Manufacturing Innovation Consortium to coordinate development of an advanced technological manufacturing roadmap.
Thirty organizations representing the functional glass industry participated, ranging raw-material providers; small, medium, and large manufacturers; university and national lab research centers; end users; manufacturer trade organizations; and professional societies.
The objectives of the new consortium were to: build a collaboration of experts from the functional glasses industry, academia, government labs and agencies; create a technology roadmap identifying the major technical barriers that can be addressed by advanced manufacturing and prioritized research; and develop broadly applicable and precompetitive technologies, create and disseminate new design methodologies for manufacturing, and promote the development of shared technology infrastructure to support advances in existing manufacturing industries.
Outcome: The functional glass manufacturing innovation roadmap builds on existing national initiatives and previous roadmaps to bridge the gap between scientific advances and manufacturing opportunities for U.S. companies. The roadmap identifies advanced manufacturing technologies ready for implementation now in functional glass manufacturing industries, as well as high-priority areas for precompetitive R&D.
The potential business benefits of meeting these challenges are compelling and meeting them requires technical and financial resources beyond the reach of individual companies.
Lead: The American Ceramic Society
Funded Participant: Nexight Group
Award Number: 70NANB15H073
Federal Funding: $480,000
Project Duration: 24 months
AMTech Project Manager: Jean-Louis Staudenmann
More information: http://fgmic.com/