What is Recycled Blown Glass?

Get In the dynamic world of architecture and interior design, professionals are constantly on the lookout for innovative materials that embody sustainability without compromising on design. Architects and designers now have the opportunity to explore the unique characteristics and versatile applications of recycled materials.

Our recycled blown glass material is distinguished by its remarkable composition of 100% recycled glass that comes from a glass blowing facility. What makes the material so exiting?

How is glass waste produced?

In the intricate world of glass blowing, where the fusion of skill and artistry gives rise to exquisite creations, but also grapples with the challenge of waste management. Glass blowing facilities often accumulate significant waste due to several factors inherit in the glass blowing process. The process itself requires precision and skill, resulting in inevitable mistakes or incomplete creations that cannot be salvaged. Additionally, the shaping and forming of glass often generate excess material or trimmings that are discarded.

The chambers where the glass is melting typically contain one colour at a time. Glass, when melted, behaves like a fluid. If multiple colours were introduced into the same chamber simultaneously, they would inevitably mix together as they melt and the result in unpredictable outcomes. This makes it challenging for glass blowing facilities to reuse their waste as they can't control the colour and final look of the products. 

Recycling blown glass

Over the past few years, our glass blowing facility diligently collected and stored various colours of glass waste, laying the foundation for our innovative recycled glass material. Our panels, born from discarded glass shards accumulated during the hand-blown glass manufacturing process, continue the story of these waste materials. By utilising the glass shards directly, reduce the energy-intensive process of melting glass, thus significantly reducing our carbon footprint and energy consumption. 

What are the sustainability benefits of recycled blown glass?

Recycled blown glass has various sustainability benefits. By repurposing discarded glass shards it minimises waste that would otherwise end up in landfills or require energy-intensive recycling processes in order to be used again. Unlike traditional glass production, which requires melting raw materials at high temperatures, recycling blown glass needs much less energy to bind the glass shards together. Additionally, it preserves resources as it doesn't use virgin materials such as silica sand, soda ash or limestone and conserves natural sources.

What can recycled glass be used for

Recycled glass can have multiple applications. It can be used in architectural projects to create features such as lighting fixtures, wall panels, bar fronts and lobby accents. Its transparency and ability to diffuse light make it an ideal material for adding visual interest and ambiance to interior spaces.
Aside from its application indoors, recycled glass presents versatile opportunities for outdoor use, particularly as facades and installations. Recycled glass is well suited for external cladding, offering both aesthetic appeal and  sustainable benefits. Recycled glass facades can introduce engaging colours and unique textures to building exteriors. Furthermore, recycled glass can be incorporated into outdoor installations and landscaping features, such as sculptural elements or decorative accents. Its reflective properties and ability to play with light add an element of dynamism to outdoor spaces, and creates engaging environments.
Additionally, it can be cut into mosaics to behave like mosaic tiles and adorn walls. It is also possible to water jet cut this material to create stunning inlays. 

How can recycled glass be processed?

Recycled glass undergoes a series of processing steps to create versatile products. Initially, discarded glass items are collected and sorted by colour for uniformity. These chips are then melted with lower temperatures and formed into panels. Water jet cutting technology allows for precise customisation, enabling the creation of intricate designs or inlays. Additionally, recycled glass panels can be integrated with lighting features for added visual effect. Drilling may also be performed for specific installation requirements. 

Celebrating the ethos sustainability in architecture and design, Materials Assemble continually explores innovative solutions that prioritise environmental responsibility. Embracing the values of reuse and recycle, our journey leads us to the discovery of our recycled glass panels, offering a spectrum of colours to enliven any design palette. 

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