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Research, Innovation and Development

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A centre for glass research and development and an ISO:17025 UKAS accredited testing facility, we conduct innovative research and development projects for our clients in order to provide market advantage and develop new technologies. These projects range from fundamental science research, the development of new or novel glass compositions, coatings or processing through to product commercialisation.

Glass Property Measurement

Determination of a wide range of glass properties, including thermo-physical, optical and melting properties.

Product Development

Our advice helps businesses within many areas of glass manufacturing, including: process optimisation, efficiency improvement and training development. We also play a key role in t…

Pilot Trials and Melting

Scalable production facilities to assess new compositions, changes in raw materials or glass refining, or as part of a development project to develop a new glass or optimise existi…

History

Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS) began as the British Glass Industry Research Association (BGIRA) in 1956. A successful 50 year history of helping companies with glass related …

Services

We provide expert analysis, testing and consultancy conducting by our dedicated team of scientists - who have expertise in glass manufacture, processing, material sciences, chemist…

Composition Development

Specialist knowledge in glass composition and its resulting optical, thermal and physical properties allow the development of specialist glasses for novel applications, product dev…


Project Examples

With a current project portfolio in excess of £1.4m, we are at the cutting edge of research and development in glass science and technology. Examples of the innovative projects in our portfolio include those below:

Bright Slice

Bright Slice

A novel project using laser technology to improve existing glass-cutting techniques is set to revolutionise glass processing capabilities across the industry. Independent research and development, consultancy and testing facility, Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS) is working with the University of Leeds and drawing upon the success of a number of photonics and laser research projects to develop the new technology in the “Bright Slice” project, funded by a £93K grant from the...

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FASTIC - Femtosecond-pulsed-laser Augment/bioglass Sintering Technique for Implant Customisation

FASTIC - Femtosecond-pulsed-laser Augment/bioglass Sintering Technique...

This project aims to develop new technology to allow surgeons to customise joint replacements at the time of surgery on the rare occasions when there is significant bone loss either from a failed implant that needs to be revised or from bone cancer. It brings together a consortium of complementary academic and commercial organisations, including: specialists in ultra-fast lasers, materials and orthopaedic implants. The technology will involve hand held lasers and new orthopaedic biomaterials tuned...

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3D BioGLAM - 3D Bioactive Glass-Metal Additive Manufacture

3D BioGLAM - 3D Bioactive Glass-Metal Additive Manufacture

This project brings together partners with expertise in additive manufacturing, glass technology and orthopaedic implants.  The aim is to develop the next generation of coatings for orthopaedic implants such as hip replacements. The new combination glass and metal coatings will have better mechanical stability and faster integration with bone thus improving long-term clinical performance and reducing the revision rate.  This will deliver a significantly better clinical outcome for patients...

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Light-MiLES - Miniature Laser-Illumined Eye-safe Sensor

Light-MiLES - Miniature Laser-Illumined Eye-safe Sensor

Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS) is providing photonics and material science expertise to a development project on laser illuminated eye-safe sensors, which has been awarded a grant from the UK’s innovation agency, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), to forward advances in technology and innovation. Led by Thales UK’s Optronics business in Glasgow, the Light-MiLES (Miniature Laser-illuminated Eye-safe Sensors) project will develop and demonstrate an innovative, compact, low cost...

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SCAMP - Production of commercially scalable multifilament phosphate fibre tows

SCAMP - Production of commercially scalable multifilament phosphate fi...

Leading an innovative project to develop a fibre drawing tower that can be used to produce novel bio-resorbable phosphate-based glass fibres. Phosphate fibres can dissolve in water to produce materials that are present in the bones and are useful in treating damaged and broken bones. The project aims to create a working prototype of a phosphate fibre drawing production facility, capable of producing fibres that can be used to make fabrics which can then be transformed into products, such as reinforced...

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MATCh - Monoblock Acetabular cup with Trabecular-like Coating

MATCh - Monoblock Acetabular cup with Trabecular-like Coating

MATCh aims to improve the quality of patient’s life through increasing the life-expectancy of hip prostheses through developing new macroporous glass-ceramic coatings for the surface modification of commercial ceramic acetabular cups.  We have developed specialist bioactive glass materials suitable for the new laser cladding process. Developed in a unique partnership on glass production, coatings fabrication and software on demand, the biocompatible technology was made possible...

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Glass Recycling and Energy Efficiency in the Russian Federation

Glass Recycling and Energy Efficiency in the Russian Federation

This project aimed to assist the Russian industry in developing and implementing a glass recycling scheme in Russia. The main objective of the assignment was to develop a road map for the establishment of a glass collection and recycling system in the Russian Federation to reduce waste and increase energy efficiency of glass packaging production; as well as to outline the steps required to establish such a system. It included an assessment of the existing institutional capacity and the need for the...

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RESTORATION - Resorbable Ceramic Biocomposites for Orthorpaedic and Maxillofacial Applications

RESTORATION - Resorbable Ceramic Biocomposites for Orthorpaedic and Ma...

The RESTORATION project aims to create novel bioceramic composites using a combination of mechanical design, materials, processing, clinical delivery and subsequent biological interaction to develop new bioceramic products. Ceramic composite materials show great promise in the repair of musculoskeletal defects. The materials can mimic the structure of bone, and devices made from the materials can be structured to closely match the mechanical requirements of implant sites. In addition, wide ranges...

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Manano - Manufacturing and applications of nanostructured materials

Manano - Manufacturing and applications of nanostructured materials

The aim of the project is to carry out research in nanotechnology and to encourage researchers to take up jobs in the European nanotechnology industry. The research projects cover green energy-generating nanomaterials for solar cells and batteries, the organization and characterization of nanostructure, and lightweight/ longer life nanostructured materials for improving energy efficiency. A network of universities, research institutes and companies from across Europe...

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GlassRite - Beer, Cider and Spirits Activities

GlassRite - Beer, Cider and Spirits Activities

The project has worked extensively with stakeholders in the beer, cider and spirits sectors, and in particular brand owner-fillers and the UK glass manufacturers, to highlight the benefits of rightweighting, and identify rightweighting opportunities within brand portfolios. The project has supported brand owners in the development of these opportunities and in addressing barriers which could slow or prevent initiatives reaching market. Key barriers addressed through the project have been bottle...

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New Approach to Cathode Ray Tube Recycling

New Approach to Cathode Ray Tube Recycling

A cathode ray tube (CRT) is composed of two different types of glass – one used for the funnel and neck sections and the other used for the screen. In addition to the glass there are other materials including ferrous and non-ferrous metals and coatings as well as plastic casings. Mixed CRT glass (funnel, neck and screen glass) contains on average 5% lead oxide, 10% barium oxide and 2% strontium oxide which means waste glass of this composition is unsuitable for applications where...

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Conglasscrete I and II in Conjunction with University of Sheffield

Conglasscrete I and II in Conjunction with University of Sheffield

Phase I Project Summary This project has conducted what is believed to be the widest-ever study of the performance of crushed and ground glass in real concrete products as a replacement for cement and/or aggregate. A total of 19 products, (98 mixes) were manufactured in precast concrete factories around the UK and tested for compliance with type testing to British Standards, glass reactivity in alkali by the alkali-silica reaction (ASR) test and advanced chemical analysis including scanning electron...

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Glass Market Development Assessments

Glass Market Development Assessments

This study aims to give an overview of the UK supply chain for recycled glass by looking at the estimated a risings of different glass types, current collections levels, and existing and potential markets in each region. Part one of the report details the sources of data used and outlines potential markets and collection methodologies for recycled glass and an indication of the economics of these markets. Based on the data gathered part two attempts to identify plausible areas of further investigation...

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GlassRite - Lightweighting and Bulk Importation

GlassRite - Lightweighting and Bulk Importation

The project has worked extensively with stakeholders in the wine supply chain, and in particular retailers, brand owner, fillers and the UK glass manufacturers, to highlight the benefits of bulk importation of wine for UK filling and lightweighting. The project has supported retailers and brand owners in the development of these opportunities and in addressing barriers which could prevent initiatives reaching the market. Key barriers addressed through the project have been the effect of UV and bulk...

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A Market Survey of Applications and Manufacturing Processes of Foam Glass

A Market Survey of Applications and Manufacturing Processes of Foam Gl...

BRE and GTS investigated the use of waste material to generate a building product or high value lightweight aggregate for insulation purposes Project Summary The aim of this project was to identify whether or not there are opportunities to either develop or transfer a foam glass production process into UK for manufacturing construction products. This information would then be used to advise the Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) where best to invest i.e. transfer existing technology...

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Bottle Rightweighting - Beer, Cider and Spirits

Bottle Rightweighting - Beer, Cider and Spirits

"Bottle Rightweighting - a process of packaging design and production to optimise packaging weight, whilst taking into account the requirements of all stakeholders in the supply chain, including manufacturers, brand owners, fillers, retailers, consumers and the environment". Glassrite Beer Cider and Spirits, a WRAP funded project delivered by GTS Environmental, ran from January 2007 to March 2008. The project supported the supply chain for the beer, cider and spirits sectors in rightweighting...

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GlassRite - Wine

GlassRite - Wine

GlassRite Wine, a WRAP funded project delivered by British Glass, ran from July 2006 to March 2008. The project supported the supply chain for the wine industry in rightweighting the bottles they used and maximising the opportunity to bulk import wine and fill in the UK. The project successfully delivered new lightweight wine bottles into the UK and substantially increased bulk importation and UK filling. This reduced the amount of glass in the UK waste stream and increased the demand for recovered...

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Manufacturing Masonry Units from Recovered TV and Computer Screens

Manufacturing Masonry Units from Recovered TV and Computer Screens

Project Summary Staffordshire University has developed and patented a new technology (known as "Stoneglass") which can convert virtually any type of waste glass into commercial quality masonry units (bricks, pavers and cladding tiles). In particular, this process has the potential to rapidly expand a new end market opportunity for cathode ray tube (CRT) panel glass in line with the need for its more responsible recycling with the implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic...

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Creation of a Practice Guide for Flat Glass Manufacturers

Creation of a Practice Guide for Flat Glass Manufacturers

Project Summary The UK window (flat) glass industry currently recycles approximately 10% of the estimated 500,000 tonnes of such glass entering the waste stream each year. The industry has the capacity to recycle more recovered glass (cullet), but is prohibited by the availability of good quality uncontaminated supplies. Contamination is a critical issue for all glass manufacturers as trace levels are sufficient to cause glass defects. The flat glass sector has particularly high optical quality...

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Assessment of the International Trading Markets for Recycled  Container Glass and their Environmental Implications

Assessment of the International Trading Markets for Recycled Containe...

The study clearly demonstrates that the best environmental option for recovered UK cullet is returning it to domestic container glass manufacturers for remelting. Unfortunately the colour imbalance which exists between the glass being recovered and that being produced currently limits the amount of cullet that can be directed into domestic remelt although this has been met by developing alternative uses of excess green glass and by export to foreign container manufacturers. The data demonstrated...

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Colourite - Maximising Cullet Additions in the Glass Container Industry

Colourite - Maximising Cullet Additions in the Glass Container Industr...

GTS has conducted an 18-month project to investigate options for maximising cullet use in production of container glass. The project, supported by WRAP with collaboration from glass processors, container glass manufacturers and retailers and various technical organisations, aimed to maximise the amount of furnace-ready cullet able to be recovered from glass waste streams collected in an increasingly colour-mixed form. In simple terms, the UK has a large, unsatisfied demand for clear glass but...

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Container Lite - Light-weight Glass Containers - the Route to Effective Waste Minimisation

Container Lite - Light-weight Glass Containers - the Route to Effectiv...

With over 1.5 million tonnes of glass still ending in landfill in the UK, even a small percentage reduction through the lightweighting of bottles and jars would bring about a significant reduction in the waste being sent to landill. Reducing the average container weight by 10% it was estimated would yield 150,000 tonnes less waste. GTS British Glass and the Faraday Packaging Partnership undertook the WRAP-funded project supported by major retailers, brand owners and all of the UK container glass...

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Recycled CRT Panel Glass as an Energy Reducing Fluxing Body Additive in Heavy Clay Construction Products

Recycled CRT Panel Glass as an Energy Reducing Fluxing Body Additive i...

Approximately 105,000 tonnes of waste CRT glass is available annually; this project set out to investigate the potential use of the panel glass ie the lead-free glass. It was proposed to: Investigate the potential benefits of using CRT panel glass as fluxing body additive (following on from a previous WRAP-funded brick industry project) Undertake testing to assess the blending potential for CRT panel glass with mixed colour container glass This report...

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Increasing collection and recycling of post consumer domestic window waste

Increasing collection and recycling of post consumer domestic window w...

The aim of this project, undertaken on behalf of WRAP, was to undertake trials in order to understand the practical, technical and economic viability of collecting, sorting, processing and the re-processing of window waste. Glass skips of window waste were provided and collected by Viridor Glass Recycling at all trial sites with all glass collected transported to its Peterboroughsite to provide an audit trail. Samples of glass collected from all trial sites were sent to Glass Technology...

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Container Lite - Opportunities for the Co-op to lightweight glass packaging

Container Lite - Opportunities for the Co-op to lightweight glass pack...

GTS, in a WRAP-funded extension to the Container Lite project, worked with the Co-Op to look at lightweighting opportunities for a range of their own-label glass products across two main product areas: Whiskey; Food Containers. The work was completed in partnership with British Glass and Faraday Packaging Partnership, support by the Co-op and UK container glass manufacturers. The aim of the project was to: investigate the potential for bottling Co-op branded 70cl whiskey...

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Feasibility Study for the Reduction of Colour within the Glass Furnace

Feasibility Study for the Reduction of Colour within the Glass Furnace...

There are two issues which have the potential to hinder the closed-loop recycling of container glass in the UK: the colour imbalance of glass packaging consumed versus the containers manufactured and the collection of waste containers mixed or colour seperated. The target for glass recycling in 2008 is 60%, equivalent to 1,320,000 tonnes per annum (based on current figures). At this level of recycling glass container manufacturers can use 919,000 tonnes of recycled glass with a surplus of some...

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Materials recovery from waste cathode ray tubes (CRTs)

Materials recovery from waste cathode ray tubes (CRTs)

With the implementation of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directive and growing concern about the environmental impact of CRT glass, GTS, in a project led by ICER (Industrial Council for Electronic Equipment Recycyling) set out to identify issues affecting disposal and recycling of CRT glass which in 2002 was estimated at some 104,352 tonnes of glass arisings. The project set out to estimate current and future arisings, look at existing applications of the waste materials,...

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Study into the Interaction of Imported Wine Bottles and the UK's Cullet Supply

Study into the Interaction of Imported Wine Bottles and the UK's Culle...

Although using recycled glass in furnaces saves valuable raw materials, reduces energy consumption and lowers emissions of CO2 a study, commissioned by WRAP, was conducted into promoting sustainable waste management with regard to wine bottles. Wine bottles contribute significantly both to the waste stream and the green glass excess as the UK is the world’s largest importer of wines with annual consumption exceeding 1000 million litres. Much of this wine arrives bottled in green...

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Recovered Container Glass - Development of test methods and inorganic contamination limits

Recovered Container Glass - Development of test methods and inorganic ...

Recycling waste material is an important element in a sustainable society, one that the glass industry takes seriously, setting great store by its claim to be completely recyclable and doing its utmost to achieve exemplary recycling rates. In a WRAP-funded project, GTS was requested to undertake the development of a rapid test methodology able to determine the inorganic contamination levels in recovered container glass and to such method to determine typical contaminant levels. The majority...

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Glass Market Development Assessments for the English Regions and the Devolved Administrations

Glass Market Development Assessments for the English Regions and the D...

This study gave an overview of the UK supply chain for recycled glass by looking at the estimated arisings of different glass types, current collections levels, and existing and potential markets in each region. Project Summary This study aims to give an overview of the UK supply chain for recycled glass by looking at the estimated arisings of different glass types, current collections levels, and existing and potential markets in each region. Part one of the report details the sources of data...

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A Study of the Balance between Furnace Operating Parameters and Recycled Glass in Glass Melting Furnaces

A Study of the Balance between Furnace Operating Parameters and Recycl...

Glass making is a high-temperature, energy-intensive process and manufacturers are well aware that over 70% of the energy they use in the furnace is in melting the glass.  As a result, the glass industry has long been cognisant of the benefits of using recycled glass in its processes, i.e. that it is easier to melt than virgin raw materials thus significantly reducing the fuel consumption and Carbon Dioxide emissions, and that each tonne of glass returned also reduces demand on raw materials...

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Investigation of the Significant Factors in Elemental migration from Glass in Contact with Food

Investigation of the Significant Factors in Elemental migration from G...

This study, conducted for the Food Standards Agency (FSA), consisted of a programme of experimental work designed to increase understanding of migration issues related to glass materials in contact with foodstuffs. Although there was data available on most commonly used glass types, most of this work was historical and only lead migration from lead crystal had been given extensive attention from the scientific community over recent years. As manufacturing methods have developed over time, and...

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View our project portfolio page for full details of a range of innovation, research and development projects spanning raw materials, melting technology and traditional glass sectors through to specialist optical, photonic and biocompatible glasses, glass treatment, processing and coating technologies.

Project Funding

The funding for these projects comes from a variety of sources, such as commercial organisations to government bodies and institutions or a mixture of both. We can offer advice on sources of available funding and has an excellent track record in securing funding from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) for innovative projects.  We are keen to develop and participate in new projects so please contact us if you have any innovative glass-related ideas.

Please see our project funding page for information about available grants and the latest funding news from the TSB.

Through funding a number of Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTPs) with Leeds University to further develop our high quality glass melting infrastructure we have expanded the range of glasses that we can supply to the photonics industry.  We are also funding a part-time post-doc secondment in order to support other research developments and grant funded projects within the organisation.

Latest News

Meet the Team

Dr Nick Kirk

Dr Nick Kirk

PhD BEng CEng CEnv FIMMM

Technical Director

Nick has over 20 years’ experience in the glass sector - including 6 years in ...

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Philip Marsh

Philip Marsh

Business Development Manager

As business development manager at Glass Technology Services Ltd, Phil is respon...

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Daniel Capon

Daniel Capon

Analytical Manager

Dan is head of the analytical and glass technology departments at Glass Technolo...

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Catherine Robinson

Catherine Robinson

Product Performance Manager

Catherine is head of the product performance department and responsible for all ...

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Rob Ireson

Rob Ireson

Innovation Projects Lead

Rob is responsible for the management of the longer term development and innovat...

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Mark Pudner

Mark Pudner

Senior Environmental Technologist

Mark is responsible for the day-to-day running of the stack emissions monitoring...

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Martyn Marshall

Martyn Marshall

Hot Glass Technology Lead

Martyn is responsible for delivering the technical focus in several major Europe...

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Chris Holcroft

Chris Holcroft

Disruptive Technology Lead

Chris is a member of the GTS project team managing and participating in a wide v...

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