A green laser oven makes better glass and ceramics

Scientists at the CSIC and at the Universidad de Zaragoza have developed an oven with laser technology for industrial production of ceramic and glass more resistant. It uses less energy and material, and reduces the emission of greenhouse gases.

Aerial view of the prototype. Image: Ceramglass.It is, according to their creators, a unique laser oven in the world, capable of improving the qualities of tiles, glass and ceramic cladding, with a low consume of energy and raw material. It has developed within the European project Ceramglass (Life program) which has been coordinated by Xerman Fuente, a CSIC scientist at the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Aragón, a joint centre of the CSIC and the University of Zaragoza.

The prototype, which has been patented, needs 200 C grades less than a conventional oven, enabling a more sustainable use of water and raw material, as well as reducing C02 emissions. Its laser, with a power of 2 kilowatts, reaches high temperatures on the tile or coating surface without deforming or breaking the materials.

The oven allows to obtain resistant ceramic and glass, with precise, eye-catching and durable decoration, reducing by half the thickness of the material -which decreases from 9 to 4 millimetres.  In the project, the scientists have also worked to improve the materials and eliminate the toxic solvents which have been replaced by non-toxic solvents. The prototype of the oven is 13 metres long and it has been placed in the business incubator of the CEEI Aragón.

In addition to the Instituto de Ciencia de Materiales de Aragón, the other partners of the project are the Instituto de Síntesis Química y Catálisis Homogénea, the Instituto de Cerámica y Vidrio, the Instituto de Materiales in Sevilla, and the Instituto de Carboquímica, as well as Torrecid, a leading company in Europe in the ceramics sector. The Ceramglass project has had a budget of nearly 3 million Euros.