Delegates at the recent ICG/GlassTrend conference heard about converting waste glass into foam glass products.

Converting the waste glass into foam glass is an economically-minded process that produces material streams that had until recently no significant field of application, Dr Arjen Steiner, CEO of Schaumglas Global Consulting (SGGC) told delegates.

Dr Steiner told the plenary session at the Eindhoven, the Netherlands event that waste glass with impurities, such as CSP >5%, which cannot be used in the container or glass fibre industry can be used to produce foam glass gravel.

The glass must be transferred to a powder with 90% <100 micron and a d50+40 micron. The powder is then mixed with solid or liquid foaming agents, depending on the process and the final application, and heat-treated in a tunnel kiln with a defined profile.

The ribbon of produced foam breaks into pieces by thermal shock after the kiln. The final product can be stored outside without any specific protection.

The process already has sales of more than 700,000m3 to the construction industry in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

It can be used as a heat insulator in buildings sound insulator, such as alongside a railway line or major road, and as a material in roads. Dr Steiner said it is good for roads in regions where there is permafrost.

Roads in these areas are subject to subsidence when the permafrost thaws but the foam glass in a road helps prevent this. Other fields of application are landscaping and gardening.

Zell am Main, Germany-based SGCC was formed in 2006 and is partner in the production of foam glass gravel and foam glass plates.

It advises companies during the production of foam glass and can supply equipment for the production of foam glass gravel and foam glass plates.

A review of ICG/GlassTrend will appear in a forthcoming issue of Glass International. The ICG/GlassTrend event was hosted by Dutch technology group CelSian.