In this post, I like to put the attention on more academic / laboratory contributors. Indeed, cellular glass is born on the scale of a cup of coffee and later on further extended to larger dimensions, today up to 2.8m x 1.2m.
Bernard Long, a scientist working once for St Gobain Glass, filed in 1938 patent US2337672 about the foaming of glass. He used carbon as foaming agent and describes the reduction of an oxide as the gas evolution source. I guess this is the first closed cell cellular glass patent and this foam could be used as floating device for the curtains in the harbours against submarines.
Boris K. Demidovich, has published in 1972 a book about the production and use of cellular glass. It is the perfect description of the knowledge at that time and is the advised work to study for each cellular glass starter. It was so important that the American Army translated the work in English. Personally I was impressed by the knowledge in Czecho-slovakia, with a plant in Usti nad Labem in 1947. Sixty years later, a cellular glass plant was built in 2007 at about 80 km from the first plant.
Prof. Dr. Bernardo Enrico, a professor at the University of Padua developed the cold foaming of glass like already described in a previous blog. This open cell foam can be made from bottom ash and fly ash from waste incinerators. Up to now, open cell foams were not popular but this will change in the near future.
Prof. Dr. Lorna Gibson is a cellular solids expert at MIT. By studying her work, people become aware of the opportunities of the cellular version of a material. Glass is already extraordinary and the cellular version extend largely the importance of that product.
Prof. Dr. Michael F. Ashby is a material engineering expert at Cambridge Univerisity, which is already mentioned in a previous blog. He described cellular glass as the most efficient material to support its own weight. Since GLAPOR is delivering large boards by 2.8m x 1.2m, this property can be applied everywhere to replace unloaded concrete beams.
Prof. Dr. Christian Maes, Physics department of the KU Leuven, Belgium discovered that cellular glass fails under a compressive load in a diffusive way. This important statement is probably valid for all kind of fragile heterogeneous materials. This was already discussed in a previous post.