The Electronics + Biotech profit center at SCHOTT is now launching a variety of glasses that the company calls "eco Glass" that are manufactured without adding arsenic and antimony as refining agents during the manufacturing process. Additional "green" glasses like these will be added to the product portfolio over time.
The electronics industry and the leading cell phone manufacturers in particular, are known to be the trailblazer when it comes to the use of so-called green glasses. For instance, the "green" filter glass used for the camera lenses in many cell phones comes from SCHOTT. It is manufactured from the "D 263" T eco glass that is also used for touch sensitive display screens. "D 263" T eco is one of the first glasses in the SCHOTT portfolio to be refined without adding arsenic and antimony. "AF 32" eco, with which the semiconductor industry packages electronic components, is also free from these refining agents. Additional types of glasses are to follow as eco-versions, due to the fact that no toxic additives are used during the manufacturing process.
The oxides and heavy metals arsenic and antimony have served as so-called refining agents that expel gas bubbles from the glass melt during the previous production process to ensure a perfectly transparent glass. More and more often, alternative refining agents, such as tin oxide, are being used as substitutes for these. However, these require other temperatures and process parameters and, therefore, intensive test runs in order to achieve high glass quality. The tests performed at the SCHOTT plant in Grünenplan show that the extremely good optical properties are retained even during the environmentally more friendly production process. SCHOTT also pays very close attention to ensuring that the new refining agents do not have any effect on other physical and chemical properties.
SCHOTT is an international technology group that sees its core purpose as the lasting improvement of living and working conditions. To this end, the company has been developing special materials, components and systems for nearly 125 years. The main areas of focus are the household appliances industry, pharmaceuticals, solar energy, electronics, optics and the automotive industry. The SCHOTT Group is present in close proximity to its customers with production and sales companies in all its major markets. The Group's approximately 17,300 employees generated worldwide sales of approximately 2.2 billion euros for its 2007/2008 fiscal year. The company's technological and economic expertise is closely linked with its social and ecological responsibility. The parent company of the SCHOTT Group is SCHOTT AG, whose sole shareholder is the Carl-Zeiss-Stiftung (Foundation).