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The participants at the kick-off meeting for the EU’s “HarWin” project at the beginning of October 2012 in front of the headquarters of the Neue Materialien Bayreuth GmbH Company.
© Universität Bayreuth
EU "HarWin" project develops polymer-glass composite materials

Windows: Saving energy without double glazing

These days multiple glazing is used to provide energy efficiency with windows. The EU’s “HarWin” research project now intends to replace this type of fabrication. The project partners are developing laminated polymer-glass composite materials that use daylight. This is intended to lower the energy consumption in buildings. The material consumption during manufacture will also be reduced.

The “Harvesting solar energy with multifunctional glass-polymer windows” project, known as “HarWin” for short, is concerned with materials for energy efficient windows. The project partners want to develop lightweight windows that utilise daylight more efficiently. In particular, the use of polymer-glass composites is intended to improve the thermal insulation. By using anti-reflective coating, sunlight will not be reflected back outwards. At the same time, the material allows less heat to flow outwards. This should also improve the sound insulation.

Reduced use of resources during manufacture

Although in contrast to standard window glass the previously available composite glass uses less resources during manufacture, the materials used until now have been unsuitable for windows in buildings. The thermal conduction is too large and noise insulation is not possible. “The specific aim of the HarWin project is, with the help of new glass-based additives, to reduce the thermal conduction of laminated and coated glass panes and to enable acoustic insulation,” says project coordinator Professor Monika Willert-Porada, Chair of Materials Processing at Bayreuth University.

Industrial implementation planned

On 2 October 2012, the project partners from Germany, Finland, Belgium, Poland, the UK and Switzerland met in Bayreuth to determine the road map for the next three years. “At our kick-off meeting all project partners agreed that we do not want to remain with just pure research results but want to specifically work towards the industrial implementation of the findings,” explains Willert-Porada. The European Commission is spending 3.4 million euros on the project, which will run from September 2012 for a period of three years. “HarWin” is part of the Seventh Framework Programme being conducted by the European Union for energy efficient buildings. The ten companies, research institutes and universities taking part are contributing almost 1.5 million euros.

The basis for “HarWin” has been provided by the Bavarian “Research Partnership for Multifunctional Glass Materials for Energy Efficient Building Technologies” (FORGLAS). During the last three years, FORGLAS has already developed polymer-glass composite materials. These consist of plastic membranes in which tiny glass particles with predefined dimensions are integrated. The HarWin project intends to optimise these composite materials and further develop them to form laminated glass panes.



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Scientific project management
Bayerische Forschungsallianz GmbH

Project coordination

Prof. Monika Willert-Porada
Lehrstuhl für Werkstoffverarbeitung
Universität Bayreuth
Universitätsstraße 30
D-95440 Bayreuth
Tel.: +49 (0)921 55 7200