In the near future laser technology can be used to manufacture decorated and structured glass panes with individual decor as used in modern architecture or for designer furniture made of glass. This is the goal of a new research project between the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) and the mechanical engineering company CERION GmbH.
In contrast to present-day processes like etching and sand blasting, the laser can easily alter material characteristics such as the level of transparency of the manufactured structures. Another advantage is that it is not necessary to cover the glass panes with foils or protective lacquer during processing.
Commercial structuring of glass panes will be done at a processing speed of about 10 m2 per hour and is also applicable to tempered safety glass. The laser produced structures are not only suitable for interior decoration, but also for the harsh conditions outside. Large-scale structuring is especially interesting for the field of architecture - for decoration purposes as well as for the influencing transparency.
The research project is financially supported by the Federal Ministry of Economy and Technology (BMWi) and the German Federation of Industrial Research Associations (AiF) within the framework of the funding measure "Zentrales Innovationsprogramm Mittelstand" (ZIM).
Michael Botts | idw
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