Rheological Investigations of Glass for Glass Wool Production

This report shows how the Furnace Rheometer Systems from Anton Paar can help glass wool producers increase their financial success. Rheological investigations of glass wool material help reduce energy consumption as well as scrap rates, maintenance efforts and production downtimes. Furthermore, the quality of the resulting product that is expressed in thermal conductivity of the glass wool can be improved based on the knowledge generated by rheological tests.

Glass is one of the most versatile materials on earth. This becomes obvious when one considers the countless applications of glass. From jewelry to bottles to windows: a multitude of different applications can be served with glass based on the (more or less) same basic raw materials (silicon dioxide, sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate). Responsible for that are the specific characteristics of glass that are e.g. its dimensional stability, abrasion resistance, moldability, gas-tightness and the fact that it does not interact with other substances and that it is 100 % recyclable.

Nevertheless, the glass industry is facing global challenges. Glass manufacturing is a very energyintensive process that requires a lot of primary energy to first melt the raw materials to create a homogenous mixture, and then maintain high temperatures until the glass has the desired shape or properties and can be allowed to cool down. On the one hand, this means high energy costs for glass producers, on the other hand, environmental regulations require the glass industry to lower their CO2 emissions and energy consumption. Further challenges are the need for innovation and new materials with better performance, quality and design capabilities to the market. This requires investigation of new additives to the basic glass material, which means intensive research and development projects. The supply of raw material in varying conditions and the sorting accuracy of recycling glass furthermore require quality tests to determine certain characteristics of the molten material to adjust product and process parameters. 

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