Exactly 125 years ago, Otto Schott, the founder of the technology group Schott, discovered borosilicate glass and created the basis for high-tech applications in the 21st century.
The glass is used in a variety of applications, from streaming of sports events to high-tech material research. These modern applications would not be possible without the borosilicate glass to protect cameras or for use in neutron conductors.
“Major advances in disciplines such as biology, chemistry and medicine have only been made possible by the development of borosilicate glass. Innovations, in a variety of disciplines, are unimaginable without it,” said Dr. Frank Heinricht, Chairman of the Board of Management of Schott.
The glass creates new prospects, in 360° cameras, for example. The panorama videos create the impression of being right in the middle of the action and are a top trend on YouTube.
Borosilicate glass is also used in modern neutron research. “Neutrons characteristically spread in all directions,” stated Dr. Christian Schanzer, Operations Manager of SwissNeutronics.
“Neutron conductors made of Bofofloat borosilicate glass ensure that they stay on course, thanks to special coatings. The conductors have an extremely smooth surface so that particles can be guided to their destination from the neutron source practically without loss,” he adds.
Research facilities around the world are therefore provided with more precise measuring results when researching novel materials.
Such different applications are possible because borosilicate glass performs much better than soda-lime glass (‘normal’ window glass) thanks to its properties.
It is highly chemically and mechanically resistant, capable of withstanding high temperatures and temperature fluctuations and has excellent optical properties.
For example, compared to soda-lime glass, borosilicate glass is 10% lighter and has a coefficient of thermal expansion that is around a factor of three smaller. This makes it considerably more resistant to thermal shock.