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Johnson Matthey: platinum group metals in glassmaking

Thanks to recent developments in manufacturing capabilities at UK-based Johnson Matthey Noble Metals, it is now possible to use iridium in the glass industry. Iridium is recyclable, just like platinum…

Thanks to recent developments in manufacturing capabilities at UK-based Johnson Matthey Noble Metals, it is now possible to use iridium in the glass industry. Iridium is recyclable, just like platinum and rhodium, but is more affordable upfront, thanks to its substantially lower metal price. Moreover, it has high mechanical strength and excellent creep resistance and can be used under mildly reducing conditions. A choice of pgm-based technologies is therefore available to the industry and, thanks to this flexibility, both protection and metal use can be optimized. Trials of various forms of pgm protection can be undertaken to establish which technology is most suitable for each glassworks. Christophe Couderc, Johnson Matthey Noble Metals business development manager (Glass) said that expected benefits of pgm protection include improved glass quality and more sustainable manufacturing. Glass furnace life will be extended, potentially offering considerable return on investment. Platinum group metals (pgms) have, thanks to their high melting points and superior resistance to corrosion, been used for many years in the glass industry. pgms have high initial costs but are fully recyclable and, depending on the product, 95% to 98% of the metal can usually be recovered and converted into revenue once the useful life of the component is over.

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