Scientists from NTU (Nanyang Technological University) in Singapore have developed a method of 3D printing from concrete made of ground glass, which is recycled. Taking into account the recent market reports that alarm the world of the shrinking resources of sand used in construction, the concept of replacing it with recycled glass (in any form – including 3D printing) may open the door to a more friendly environment in the future. for the architectural environment.
According to the latest data from the National Environment Agency, in 2021 only 13% of the 74,000 tonnes of glass waste was recycled. At the same time, due to a growing population, urbanization and infrastructure development, the world faces a lack of sand, which climate scientists call one of the greatest sustainability challenges of the 21st century.
Using a specially developed concrete mix containing recycled glass, the NTU research team successfully 3D printed a concrete bench 40 cm high – demonstrating for the first time that glass can be used to 3D print objects with excellent structural integrity.
To start the commercialization process, a technology disclosure application was filed for this innovation, and the NTU team is now working with a Singapore-based startup to develop a larger-scale 3D printing method for this type of application.