Richard Brow will tell you he likes everything about glass science, art and processing. Brow, an ACerS Fellow and Curator’s Professor of Ceramic Engineering at Missouri University of Science & Technology in Rolla, Mo., discusses his fascination with glass and delves into two specific areas: tapping into the theoretical strength of glass, and the special field of phosphate glasses.
Brow recently coauthored “The Strength of Silicate Glasses: What Do We Know, What Do We Need to Know?” in the new ACerS publication, the International Journal of Applied Glass Science. He explains that scientists and engineers know that glass can be made much stronger and that a great deal of research is being done in this field. He notes that even small improvements would translate into significant benefits in architecture and construction, glass fibers for wind turbines, packaging, electronics and bioactive glass implants.
He also discusses his research into phosphate glass materials and applications. Most glass-related research and applications focus on silicate glasses, but phosphate glasses can make wider use of special doping materials such as Rare Earths oxides that can impart special optical and thermal properties to glass. Phosphate glasses can be processed at lower temperatures than silicate glasses.