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Structuring of glass is challenging and usually requires high temperatures to shape a glass melt or aggressive chemicals for etching of microstructures. Glassomer is a silica nanocomposite which comes as a liquid or a solid. As a liquid Glassomer (e.g. Glassomer L50) can be structured by room temperature replication or stereolithography 3D printing. As a solid Glassomer can be structured using classical subtractive structuring technologies like drilling, milling, lathing or simply carving with a knife. It can further be structured using thermal polymer molding technologies like nanoimprinting, thermoforming or high-throughput roll-to-roll replication. A final heat treatment turns the polymeric nanocomposites into high quality fused silica glass. The conversion takes place at 700 °C below the temperature for handling of silica melts (~2000 °C) and thus saves a considerable amount of energy.

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    Glass is ubiquitous, from high-tech products in the fields of optics, telecommunications, chemistry and medicine to everyday objects such as bottles and windows. However, shaping glass is mainly based on processes such as melting, grinding or etching. These processes are decades old, techno ... more

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