Innovative start-ups and scale-up companies participated in the Step Change 2023 event held in June 2023 at Nokia Arena, Tampere, Finland. Step Change 2023 was organized as a part of GPD Finland 2023. The event was introduced at Glass Performance Days (GPD) in 2017 as a way to develop and promote new innovations for the glass industry value chain.
2MH Glas GmbH, founded in 2019, has an inspiring mission: to market two ground-breaking technologies that can help the whole glass industry be more sustainable.
The first technology makes glass more stable. To make a glass with more stability, glass makers I have to make the glass thicker. They have to temper the glass, or use a chemical ion exchange process. However, a chemical ion exchange process is not always viable because time is money. The conventional process needs much more time, up to 24 hours.
With 2MH Glas technology, it’s possible to do this in five – or a maximum of 30 – minutes. As a result, less time is needed to achieve the same or higher strength. In addition, it’s also possible to save up to 95 percent of the energy invested into this process compared to the conventional approach.
For an ion exchange process, you need a salt bath. However, the salt bath used in the process has to be changed after a while. This has led to the second technology presented by 2MH Glas, helping to use salt longer. With this material, called salt regeneration material, it’s possible to regenerate the salt. Therefore, the lifetime of the salt is doubled or tripled.
In fact, 2MH Glas managed to achieve a fast hardening process and also salt bath regeneration. These combined technologies allow companies to make all their glass productions thinner with less energy and material, but with more stability and scratch resistance.
After successful validation, 2MH Glas technologies have been patented worldwide. Many international customers have already tested the improved properties in their own products. Facilities for rapid ion exchange have been ordered and will be operational later this year.
These technologies are suitable for almost all areas of the glass industry, from flat glass to container glass. Chemically strengthened automotive glass will become the new standard with rapid ion exchange. Packaging made of thin-walled, robust glass will help reduce the plastic problem. Lighter containers will become more impact-resistant with less energy and material consumption.