Specialists of Perm State Engineering University have developed a unique technology. Or rather, the researchers have invented a remarkable material and developed a technology for getting it. This is the so-called “heat-d?cor” – a heat-insulated cellular silicate material, which outwardly resembles solid lightweight foam of any pre-assigned configuration and color. Such foam has high durability (up to 3 MPa), very low thermal conductivity and a very wide range of temperatures, at which this solid foam preserves its working properties – from minus 196° C up to plus 600° C. So, it can make a house warm and decorated anywhere – be it in the North Pole or in Sahara desert. Besides, the new material is absolutely safe from environmental perspective – at any case, in foreseeable future, the material would not disintegrate into any components, and no harmful substances would be excreted into water, air or soil.
As technology details are the “know-how”, the technology can be only describes in general outline in public press. The essence is that broken glass (“domestic cullet” – bottles and others) should be ground into fine particles so that the grain size did not exceed 80 microns, then something (the authors emphasize – something safe) should be added to make a dense paste, which is to be placed into moulds, hardened, and then baked.
For example, if the paste fills up the mould in the form of wild stone – a copy of wild stone will be obtained, and after glowing in the oven, all linear dimensions will increase approximately by 1.7-1.9 times, depending on additives. If we take a mould with bas-relief – the same bas-relief will be obtained in a finished article, but it will be bigger in size. That is, the mould is needed like the one for cement – only to make outward appearance of the crude product.
Of course, heat treatment duration and mode as well as additives composition is a secret, although the researchers have patented the technology. When being heated, the material gets partly crystallized and significantly increases in size – almost twice, although the article shape remains unchanged. A solid, smooth and quite universal substance is obtained. At any case, this is a lasting cladding material, which is lightweight and beautiful, and heat-insulating. Besides, it is flame-proof – it does not burn at all. It can be used to cover houses or to make heat insulation for pipelines and all kinds of manufacturing equipment.
Of course, there are competitors to the novelty, which are already customary and widely applied. These are glass wool, foam plastic, foamed concrete and even foamed glass. None of them possesses the complete range of the heat-d?cor properties. The glass wool is environmentally insecure (the ones who dealt with it at least once know what it is about – superfine glass aciculae), foam plastic is flammable, foamed concrete is heavier and not lasting, and the foamed glass that is produced now is black and its edges are like those of pumice-stone – all pierced by holes. Thus, as a mater of fact the new material is the best of all known materials. For sure, it is more universal – no other heat insulation possesses such a unique set of properties. Keeping in mind that the raw stuff for it is in fact free, and it can be reclaimed if need (as it is based on glass), we wish success to the developers in the future industrial promotion of the material. People wish to inhabit beautiful and warm houses, to live long and happy live. The researchers from Perm cannot ensure the latter but they can arrange the former.