Glass is a solid-like material that is used in numerous applications in our daily lives. This material is made from natural and abundant raw materials such as sand, soda ash and limestone that are melted at a very high temperature to form a new material. Glass that is crushed and ready to be remelted is called cullet (furnace-ready scrap glass). As an inert material, it guarantees that food and beverages placed in glass containers are not stained by the packaging. It is also commonly used in the pharmaceutical industry to preserve the properties of medicine, and in the construction industry for its energy-saving properties.
Glass is a sustainable, fully recyclable material which provides great environmental benefits. Indeed, it is the sustainable packaging choice: once a glass object is created, it remains one hundred percent recyclable for life. It is a pure material which stays that way, since it is safe to use over and over again. However, when not recycled, a glass bottle can take anywhere from 4000 to 1 million years to break down in landfills.
Almost no other man-made material provides so many possibilities across so many industries and disciplines. Its applications are constantly evolving and when combined with other materials, glass can be used for high-tech applications in architecture and insulation. One relatively new use for glass as a smart material is aerogel. The latter is not like conventional foams, but is a special porous material with extreme microporosity. This means that it is composed of individual features only a few nanometers in size which makes it extremely light. Among other applications, is used by NASA to capture fast moving star dust.
Below is my comic for the project Superhero Garbage. The collective comic book is done in collaboration with Neldy Germain, Celeste Nakaï, Veronique Pelletier & Hailey Turcato.
- “About Aerogel.” Aspen Aerogels. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 September 2014.
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- “Aerogel: Catching Comet Dust.” NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. N.p., 25 Mar. 2005. Web. 26 September 2014.
- “Believe in Glass.” Owens-Illinois (O-I). N.p., n.d. Web. 26 September 2014.
- “Glass.” Bulletin of the Detroit Institute of Arts 81.1/2, American Decorative Arts Acquisitions 1985-2005 (2007): 63-68. Web. 26 September 2014.
- “Glass Packaging and Sustainability.” Glass Packaging and Sustainability. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 September 2014.
- “The Glass Recycle Process.” All-Recycling-Facts.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 September 2014.
- “Glass Recycling Facts.” Glass Packaging Institute. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 September 2014.
- “Smart Materials.” Material Matters: New Materials in Design. N.d. 39. Web. 26 September 2014.
- “Sustainability & the Environment.” Glass. N.p., N.d. Web. 26 September 2014.