Researchers Are Using Recycled Glass Waste as Sand Replacement in 3D Printing

By: | May 28th, 2022

Image courtesy: Nanyang Technological University

Worldwide Climate change is affecting lives and is disrupting national economies. Weather patterns are changing, sea levels are rising, and weather events are becoming more extreme.

To combat climate change and its impacts, many industries are finding solutions to design environmentally friendly parts. Now, Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) researchers have developed a way to use recycled glass as a 3D printing material.

Scientists were working out to search for an alternative to sand, which is increasingly in shortage today. They plan to replace sand with glass waste that usually ends up in landfills.

In spite of the fact that glass can be 100 % recycled, it quite often doesn’t get recycled. Moreover, Glass is made of silica, which is a major component of sand. Hence it could be an ideal alternative for sand. Additionally, glass absorbs lesser water than the sand; as a result, lesser water was required to make the concrete.

“Our research has shown that recycled glass can be used to replace up to 100 percent of the sand in concrete for 3D printing,” said the lead scientist, Andrew Ting.

“The result is a concrete bench with a mechanical strength that meets acceptable industrial standards. Given that sand is being exploited at a rate much quicker than it can be replenished naturally, the prospect of using recycled glass in building and construction is becoming more attractive.”

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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