Fused silca is one of the most important high-perfomance materials and has many advantages like its outstanding optical transparancy in the ultraviolet, visible and infrared region as well as its high thermal and chemical stability.
Structuring fused silica glass is challenging and commonly done using wet chemical etching techniques which require hydrofluoric acid. Glassomer is a silica nanocomposite which comes as a liquid or a solid. As a liquid Glassomer (e.g. Glassomer L40) can be structured by room temperature replication or stereolithography 3D printing. As a solid Glassomer can be structured using classical subtactive structuring technologies like drilling, milling, lathing or simply carving with a knife. It can further be structured using thermal polymer molding technologies like nanoimprinting, thermoforming or high-throughput roll-to-roll replication. A final heat treatment turns the polymeric nanocomposites (green part) into high-quality transparent fused silica glass via thermal debinding (brown part) and sintering (fused silica glass).
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