VICARTE is in a unique possition to promote sustainable industrial growth by contributing to a strategic shift from cost-based manufacturing to more flexible production processes of high added value. Development of new materials will include research to ensure efficient and sustainable scale-up to enable industrial fabrication of products. With this approach VICARTE will open new creative possibilities for artists, allowing them to manipulate aesthetic effects and thus inspiring the creation of new artworks.
The research plan for 2018-2022 aims to provide new tools to create, exploit glass and ceramic-based materials. To achieve this, we will focus on:
Novel luminescent glasses designed with less expensive raw materials.
Previous research developed with LAQV@REQUIMTE will extend to the production of innovative cost effective luminescent glasses and surface coloring coatings. Several approaches and products will be explored:
- use of economically viable elements such as Cu to obtain luminescence in glass;
- glass produced with noble metals clusters, to confer and also enhance the luminescence of other emissive species;
- new luminescent surface coloring coatings using non-toxic glass-based paints and zeolites, to be applied on glass substrates using low-cost techniques, as spray or silk screen-printing.
This work will result in new photophysical properties, commercial opportunities for new design products, luminescent solar concentrators and in art making.
New formulations and innovative strategies for traditional colors
Due to the toxicity of some elements commonly used to color glasses and glazes (Pb, Cd, As), their use is being prohibited. VICARTE will explore ways to obtain the same colors and glass working properties by developing:
- new ecological glass formulations within an international consortium with Murano glass factories, international artists, universities and Portuguese RUs.
- thin films with noble metal nanoparticles to color glass surfaces, in collaboration with C2TN. This will introduce a novel glass coloring process at low temperatures avoiding deformation of the objects, and saving energy and costs.
- in collaboration with Passa Ao Futuro, artists, designers and artisans will explore application possibilities of eco-glazes produced at VICARTE.
Basalt’s constructive and expressive possibilities will be explored to produce ceramic bodies, glazes and glass with appealing textures and significant chromatic value for art making. Results of alkali flux additions and crystallization phenomena will be investigated.