When I found the description of Neoporm for the first time on Internet, I simply did not believe it. The paper claims that it is possible to make the highest quality cellular glass from waste glass without remelting. For about 26 years, I believed that this is not possible and as a consequence, I never did research in that direction. Wrong, very wrong. Walter Frank from GLAPOR expressed once his will to make high quality cellular glass from waste glass without remelting years ago and I told him: impossible. I still remember when I met Andrei from STES and Oleg from LFG in Dusseldorf. They had a few samples for me and I was impressed, I made immediately my congratulations to inventor Andrei.
I learned that day that these black samples were foamed in air, another surprise. They invited me in Wuppertal and I watched the foaming of white powder to a black foam in an electric furnace under an air atmosphere. Andrei took a Russian patent but I still don’ t know how they achieve such a fine cell structure and good properties without remelting. I assume that prolonged grinding is the main key for this invention. Today, it is my challenge to find out.
The advantages of this process compared with the traditional carbon black process are enormous:
- no reducing atmosphere needed and so serious improved combustion in the foaming furnace
- no remelting of glass, generating a huge cost reduction
The production cost of this product could be easily 30% lower than the carbon black process. Today, STES is building a factory in Vladimir, Russia.