SBIR Phase I: Evaporative Cooling Building Envelope Materials Created from Recycled Glass
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
1108 19th Avenue, Seattle, WA, 98122-4730
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project is focused on the reuse of waste glass to generate sustainable replacements for standard building envelope materials such as concrete and masonry. The materials being developed are comprised of over 95 percent waste glass and contain no environmentally harmful additives. When compared to conventional masonry and concrete products, they require up to 80 percent less energy to produce, and have a reduced carbon footprint. However, the process to manufacture these materials imparts a unique internal microporous structure that results in inadequate control of moisture penetration. This project will investigate the strength characteristics of the material and will explore the viability of applying environmentally responsible sealants to reduce or eliminate moisture absorption. The Phase I research will result in the development of methods for applying sustainable coatings, coupled with a subsequent analysis of sealant compatibility and hydraulic characterization of the composite material. A variety of sealants will be characterized based on final application requirements. The Phase I program will lead to the production of samples for evaluation by clients and partners in a variety of application settings. The broader impact/commercial potential of this project is significant. Successful completion of our Phase I activities will have a positive impact on both the glass recycling and building industries. The research in this proposal will establish a new approach for glass manufacturing and will provide a commercial outlet for waste glass, particularly the vast quantity that cannot currently be recycled, and therefore is simply hauled to the landfills. This material will allow manufacturers to adopt cost-effective green product lines and will also bring value to the construction industry by providing a truly green alternative to traditional facing materials. The environmental and societal impacts of this novel building material include improving environmental quality by decreasing energy consumption, and the associated greenhouse gas emissions, and by minimizing the burden on the solid waste storage infrastructure.
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