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Glass has solutions to engineering challenges of this century: experts

The science of bone replacement involves the use of metals like titanium discs; these could soon be replaced by glass that would help in the formation of bones.

Written by Pupul Chatterjee | Pune |
July 13, 2010 11:59:38 pm

The science of bone replacement involves the use of metals like titanium discs; these could soon be replaced by glass that would help in the formation of bones.

This and various other aspects of glass and glass ceramics were discussed at the four-day symposium that concluded on Saturday.

The symposium was organised by Centre for Materials for Electronics Technology (C-MET),Pune,in association with Materials Research Society (MRSI)-Pune,Mumbai,Kolkata and Gujarat Chapters.

Talking about high performance glass and ceramics materials for optical applications in space,Dr Himanshu Jain,director,International Material Institute for New Functionality in Glass,Lehigh University,Pennsylvania,said,“According to the United States National Academy of Engineering,glass is the solution to 14 greatest engineering challenges of 21st Century. Glass has changed the urban facade with glass paneled high rise buildings and modern communication tools like internet,which is all about optical fibres.”

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Jain also talked about his ongoing project on glass scaffoldings that could revolutionise bio-medical research. “Certain glasses have properties similar to bones. So,we are trying to use some porus glasses as supporting material for formation of bone cells. After the bones start forming,the nano-porus properties of these glasses will help them dissolve without implanting any foreign particles in the body,”said Jain. The study is yet to go through clinical trials.

Professor Animesh Jha from the Institute of Material Research,University of Leeds,discused about the challenges in the field of optical communication and said the data requirement has been doubling every year since 2000. While at the end of the last millenium,the data transfer rate was 500 megabytes per second,today it is 100 to 160 gigabytes per second.

“With such high speed,optical signal deterioration is a major problem. If efficient power amplifiers are made with laser sources,the cost of the components can be reduced drastically. For cable network providers,this can be a key to make more money,” said Jha.

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First published on: 13-07-2010 at 11:59:38 pm

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