SCHOTT solutions no. 2/2014 > SCHOTT Innovation Award

SCHOTT Innovationsaward 2014
The Chairman of the SCHOTT Board of Management, Dr. Frank Heinricht (center), praised the 17-member interdisciplinary Puravis® team for its outstanding collaboration at the award ceremony. Photo: SCHOTT/K. Schäfer

Green the winner

An interdisciplinary team was awarded the newly created 2014 SCHOTT Innovation Award for developing PURAVIS® environmentally-friendly, high-performance fibers.

Christine Fuhr

The goal that the 17-member team from the SCHOTT Business Units Lighting & Imaging, Advanced Optics and Research & Development and Technical Services had set for themselves when the project kicked off in 2008 was indeed ambitious. They developed a new glass formula that does without lead to produce the new high-performance fibers. This was unlike many other conventional types of glass and glass fibers that contain lead in order to achieve high optical light refraction. At the same time, their goal was also to eliminate using the refining agents arsenic and antimony in the manufacturing process. One reason for this was that they wanted to underscore their special responsibility to the environment, and they were also interested in assisting customers with their green product strategies. ”Of course we wanted our fibers to be better than the fibers our competitors provide, and we wanted to convince our customers of the advantages our fibers offer,” explains the Project Manager, Dr. Peter Naß from SCHOTT Research & Development.
SCHOTT Innovationspreis
The newly created annual SCHOTT Innovation Award was presented in 2014 for the first time based on criteria including benefits, technology and product characteristics. Photo: SCHOTT/ A. Sell
The team exceeded its goal by far by introducing a completely new product family of lead-free fibers to the market in 2012 under the brand name PURAVIS®. After all, PURAVIS® fibers are not only green, but they also offer superior performance parameters. This innovative product asserted itself in the market after only a few months and even attracted a few new customers. For its success, the PURAVIS® fiber team was presented with the SCHOTT Innovation Award that was just established in 2014. The award is presented based on criteria including benefits, technology and product characteristics; information about relevant customer and competitive activity is also taken into consideration. In his speech at the award ceremony, the Chairman of the SCHOTT Board of Management, Dr. Frank Heinricht, praised the excellent collaboration among not only the technology, glass and fiber development teams, but also how they worked with product management. This exemplary teamwork created an innovation that provides many benefits for customers.
Glasfaser PURAVIS®
Exceeded development goal: PURAVIS® glass fiber is not only ”green,” but also offers improved performance parameters. Photo: SCHOTT/ T. Lohnes
By using exclusive raw materials, the PURAVIS® fiber team has succeeded in increasing the transmission of white light by up to ten percent. The illuminated objects retain their natural color due to what is only a slight shift in color, which means that the fibers are perfectly suited for industrial and medical applications such as endoscopy, surgical microscopy and minimally invasive surgery (also see article: a guiding light for surgeons. Team spokesman Lothar Willmes stated, ”Besides the optical properties, we also succeeded in improving the chemical resistance to such an extent that the fibers are now much better able to tolerate aggressive cleaning agents, and the devices can be used much longer than in the past.” The properties and manufacturing of these ”green,” high-performance fibers are also well protected by patents and patent filings. And new projects are already in the pipeline.
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