Posted in | Ceramic Materials

Outcomes from the 2011 International Commision on Glass Meeting

The ICG held its 2011 Annual Meeting in Shenzhen, China between 30th March and 2nd April. The Coordinating Technical Committee (CTC) and Steering Committee Business Meetings and the Annual Council Meetings took place parallel to the 1st Hi-Tech International Forum on Glass.

The Council made the following relevant decisions:

  • Peng Shou was elected as President Elect; his time of Presidency is 2012-2015
  • Manoj Choudhary as a Vice President
  • To promote an effective transition, President ICG F.Nicoletti, President Elect S. Peng and the next Vice President M. Choudhary will work as a team.
  • Brian McMillan as a new member of the Steering Committee.
  • Hande Sengel as a new member of the new CTC member.
  • replacing TC01 by a Communication Bureau (CB) with B. McMillan as a chair. CB will be in charge of the website, press releases and Editorial Team. John Parker will continue to work as a Secretary of CTC, leader of teachers for Summer School and filter for the web site.

The president Elect, Prof Peng Shou sketched his program for the ICG for the coming year. His talk emphasized four specific themes that he hopes to take up during his term of office:

  • To increase the number of members organizations in ICG particularly using his links to the ASEAN countries, without neglecting the older members of the community in America and Europe,
  • To strengthen communication and cooperation, making particular use of the web site and press releases,
  • To promote technological progress and development of glass around the world by strengthening global cooperation among scientific research institutes, academic groups, universities and entrepreneurs,
  • To make more effort to help developing countries by assisting them in improving the quality and yield of glass products, and helping to solve environmental problems by promoting energy saving and emission reduction technologies.

The conference
The ICG Annual Meeting 2011 in Shenzhen, China was jointly sponsored by the Chinese Ceramic Society and also ran under the banner of the 1st Hi-Tech International Forum on Glass. The event was organised by the China Triumph International Engineering Co., Ltd., with the assistance of the Glass, Special Glass and Electronic Glass Committees of the Chinese Ceramic Society, the Photovoltaic Glass Professional Committee of CAIGA, the Shenzhen Solar Energy Society, the South China University of Technology and Shenzhen University. The conference sessions took place in the prestigious Shenzhen Wuzhou Guest House, which is surrounded by beautifully wooded parkland and a golf course; guests had panoramic views from the upper floors across these green areas with the sky scrapers of the modern city of Shenzhen providing a startling backdrop. The technical sessions over the first two days were followed by a visit to a local Industrial Park in Huizhou City on Saturday 2nd April.

The main event started on the morning of 31st March with a brief Opening Ceremony. Welcome speeches were made by:

  • Prof Peng Shou, the ICG Vice-President and President of CTIEC, the conference organisers; he introduced those on the top table, including Peter Simurka (ICG Secretary), Gan Fuxi, Jacques Lucas and the Secretary of the CCS, Jin Zhanping in addition to those speakers named below; he also welcomed more than 200 experts to the conference from 19 different countries,
  • The President of ICG, Dr Fabiano Nicoletti, who took the opportunity to urge Chinese Scientists to become more involved in ICG activities,
  • Mr Renwei Zhang, the President of the CCS, who commented that Flat Production in China had increased by 60% since the last joint CCS/ICG meeting in China in 2004,
  • and the Deputy Mayor of the Shenzhen Municipal Government who welcomed all to the international cosmopolitan city of Shenzhen, a metropolis that had been constructed in the last 30 years and had an emphasis on biomedical and the internet based industries.

The opening ceremony included the award of the two prestigious prizes in the gift of ICG at its Annual Meetings. Prof Conradt was awarded the Turner Prize, given to an ICG Technical Committee Chairman for his contribution to ICG activities, specifically in Prof Conradt's case for his chairmanship of the ICG Technical Committee on Education and Training in Glass Science and Engineering (TC23) and his contribution to road-mapping exercises. At the age of just 31, John Mauro became the youngest recipient of the Gottardi award since its inception in 1987 for his work on glass structure. He had also previously received the Weyl Award at the ICG Congress the previous year. The Opening Ceremony was followed by a coffee break and an opportunity for a group photograph. The rest of the day was devoted to Plenary Talks and a Round Table Discussion.

Before lunch Dr Fabiano Nicoletti spoke on the Global Role of the International Committee of Glass. He explained the recent changes in the ICG constitution that promote the inclusion of international glass companies, associated organisations and individual members within its structures and activities but commented that while China pays the highest fees, having the largest glass output, it unfortunately is only 13th on the list of participants on TCs, a situation that needs changing. He demonstrated how the ICG is adapting to the pressures imposed on industry and academia by a whole raft of environmental issues and shortages of money for research by stimulating activities such as: 1) road-mapping, 2) promoting international consortia to carry out major research developments and 3) enhancing the image of glass in Society. These themes were taken up next by Dr Klaus Bange who spoke on 'The Future of Materials and Technologies'. He described the various tools available for technology foresight, a relatively new mechanism for strategic decision-making and then commented specifically on the work that ICG has carried out in creating roadmaps, for example in innovative glass melting technologies, advanced materials, glass surface properties and functional coatings. He perceived glass as absolutely key for energy saving, energy generation and energy storage, with solar power having the largest potential for growth.

Prof René Vacher introduced the next speaker Dr John Mauro, the winner of this year's Gottardi Award. Dr Mauro has 64 peer reviewed publications, 4 patents with a further 6 patents pending and is working in the Glass Research Department of Corning Inc (USA). After the presentation of his award, he spoke on his work in structure modelling and property prediction using his 'Temperature-dependent Constraint Theory of Glass'. This avoids some of the limitations of MD simulations and allows modelling of dynamic properties such as glass melt viscosity-temperature relationships, the glass transition and fragility, and mechanical properties such as hardness for complex glass compositions.

After lunch, the first presenter was the Vice-President of ICG and Chairman of the China Triumph International Engineering Company (CTIEC), Mr Peng Shou. He spoke on the 'Application and Development Direction of New Glass in National Strategic New-rising Industry' covering particularly: a) ultraclear solar glass, b) ultrathin substrate glass for displays, c) energy saving glass, and d) energy saving plus emission reduction in glass production. Glass output is rising steeply and by 2020 Chinese output of flat glass for photovoltaics is expected to exceed the total global production of flat glass in 2005. The concerns associated with nuclear power stimulated by the recent earthquake in Japan may well accelerate this trend.

Masayuki Kamiya, Senior Executive Officer and Chief Representative of the AGC Group for China, gave a global view of the Flat Glass Industry. AGC has 47 000 employees in 250 group Companies throughout 27 countries and its products are used in the architectural, automotive, display and appliance industries with a perception of unlimited potential for the future. Plastic is not seen as a threat but rather as a composite component that can enhance glass applications.

F C Paulson with C J Hoyle provided a 'Practical Approach to an Energy-efficient Float Furnace with Low Emissions' by considering first what is possible in designing an energy efficient float furnace and then analysing the effect of constraints such as capital and operating costs, emission controls and waste heat recovery technologies. L Goethals spoke on 'Energy Efficient Automation Solutions with Higher Quality and Lower Cost for Glass and Solar Industry', commenting on the long association of Siemens with China - one that started 138 years ago. Siemens spend 5% of their annual budget on R&D, an unusually high proportion. They have developed a range of energy optimisation tools for use in industry which easily recover their cost over the lifetime of the plant. They are also heavily involved in manufacturing coating systems for photovoltaics, an area of potentially massive growth with up to 50% of our electricity being generated using solar power by 2050. Bringing the day's plenary talks to a close, Dr Zhifeng Long spoke on 'Enabling Advanced Displays through Innovative Glass Technologies'. He commented that consumers are demanding thinner, lighter and more functional electronic devices and explained how Corning technology is facilitating these trends by improving glass properties and offering innovative glass technologies. Two of the Company's products, an environmentally friendly substrate and a thin but durable cover glass, were presented as examples.

All the speakers for the day then joined in a Round Table discussion with questions from the floor. The range of topics raised was large, covering:

  • Education and the need for both courses and textbooks
  • A discussion on the factors limiting the involvement of China in ICG activities such as language barriers
  • The possibilities for developing new melting and forming technologies, using in flight fusion, electric melting etc and making sheet as thin as 0.3mm
  • Ways to combine activities in related fields e.g. the glass, polymer and metallic glass communities, and to bring the Glass Physics community within the ICG umbrella
  • Whether there is sufficient R&D activity worldwide and how it can be stimulated.

A Poster session followed with 15 presentations on a wide range of topics. In the evening the Conference Banquet was arranged in the Wuzhou Guest House. We were treated to a wide range of traditional Chinese dishes with a display of amazing Chinese Artistic and Gymnastic talent as we ate. Of course this had to include a traditional Dragon Dance and also an acrobatic display by a troupe of talented young gymnasts.

The second day of the event was structured as four parallel sessions under the headings: Glass Structure and Properties (21 papers); Photonic Glass (19 papers), Plate Glass (20 papers) and Electronic Glass (15 papers). Both plenary talks (30 minutes) and shorter (15 minute) presentations were included. All accepted papers will be published in the Journal of the Wuhan University of Technology after the meeting.

Finally on the 2nd April, a visit to the Industrial Park of Avic Sanxin, Huizhou City, Guangdong Province was organised followed by a lunch at a restaurant looking out over the sea. Avic Glass are manufacturers of Solar Glass, Electronic Glass, Quality Auto Glass, Aero Glass and low-e Glass and we were able to see a selection of their processing facilities. After returning by coach to Shenzhen a short City Tour was arranged.

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