A new tool developed by a Canadian company could potentially cut down on the amount of plastic that is discarded in the oceans, with the potential to save the planet and the environment.
A team of researchers from the University of Waterloo and the University Of British Columbia have been developing a technology that could potentially be used to make glass prints for people, but is also a potential solution for the plastics industry.
“We think this is going to be an incredibly transformative technology, that we’re going to have a lot of different applications,” said University of British Columbia professor Dr. Matthew R. Fergus.
“This is really about a future where we could really transform the plastic in our environment.
We’re talking about a plastic that can be made out of a different material, and that is really an opportunity to change the landscape.”
A prototype of the new technology The researchers have been working with the glass-printing industry for the last few years to develop the technology.
Failing to produce a finished product for the glass printing industry could mean huge costs for both the industry and the country, Fergus said.
Fearing a possible spike in plastic waste, Friesons team developed a process that uses a UV light that is emitted from a lamp.
The UV light produces tiny particles that are captured by a photovoltaic device, which converts them into a layer of glass.
Firies team then uses that layer of plastic to print a print on a piece of glass and sends it to a glass manufacturing company that can cut it into small pieces.
This method is more environmentally friendly than other methods of making glass because the particles are smaller and the glass is less porous.
“I think this really opens up the possibility of using this technology for a lot more uses than just making glass,” Fergus explained.
“It could be for materials like glass bottles, glass bottles for food packaging, glass in medicine or for electronics.”
Fergus is currently working on a prototype that is ready to go into the lab, and he believes the team could be able to make the technology a viable option for the world’s oceans in the next few years.
“Our team has already worked with a glass-making company that has a process to make these glass prints and they are very similar,” Firies said.
“So I think this technology could be really disruptive for the industry.”
A key problem in the glass industry is that the glass must be heated and then dried to produce the glass.
This process is also inefficient because it takes up a lot less space than the laser-cutting method that is used for making the glass itself.
Friess team has been working on ways to increase efficiency by adding a light source and adding a laser to the process.
“These lasers are incredibly energy-efficient and they can also be extremely powerful, which we think is the key thing,” Friesson said.
The team’s current prototype consists of a small projector that uses lasers to make a single layer of transparent glass.
A projector can also print a transparent print using a light-emitting diode, a type of laser that is very efficient at producing an image that can then be printed on a flat surface.
The researchers are also working on an infrared laser that would print a single glass print using infrared light and infrared emitters to produce an image.
This technology could allow the researchers to print glass prints in water that could be used for biofuels, medical devices, solar panels, and even medical imaging.
Fireside chat: Fergus and his team have already worked out a prototype of this technology, which they believe could be ready to test out in a few months.
“The technology is very scalable, and we are working on many different applications that are all based on the idea that this is an interesting way to produce glass prints,” Fivesons team wrote in a press release.
“To make the glass prints we use the technology that is already in the market, which is laser printing.”
Firies’ team is currently in the early stages of developing the technology, but they expect that it will be available to the general public by the end of the year.
In the future, Fivess team is hoping to use the system to make water bottles.
“In the future we hope to be able do glasses that can come in the bottles of water and put them on a shelf,” Fores said.
This new technology could open up new opportunities for industries in both the United States and the world, with Fergus hoping that the technology will eventually lead to a sustainable alternative to plastic waste.
“Ultimately, I think we are going to see this technology be very transformative in the plastics and in the industries around it, because we are using the same technology for both,” Fiaries said.
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