Functional coatings, targeted ion exchange and (micro)structuring can significantly change and specifically improve the optical, mechanical, thermal, electrical and chemical properties of glass surfaces.
Technical applications include, for example, anti-reflective, transmission and mirror coatings, scratch- and break-resistant, conductive and electrochromic as well as corrosion- and acid-resistant coatings (e.g. against haze or fogging). Depending on the process, coating thicknesses down to the nanometer range can be achieved. Large-scale technical processes include sputtering and thermal vapor deposition, and for sol-gel coatings dipping, spraying, roll-up and other processes. Of particular interest are also novel, environmentally friendly, water-soluble precursor systems developed at the Keylab Glass Technology, whose properties can be significantly improved by additives.
An increase in the strength of glass components can be achieved by the targeted exchange of ions present in the glass network, such as sodium, in potassium salt melts. At the Keylab Glass Technology, research is being conducted into ways of further improving this process through the use of microwave technology.