Recycled glass waste replaces sand in 3D printing

Researchers from NTU Singapore have developed the capability to use recycled glass in 3D printing, opening doors to a more environmentally sustainable way of building and construction.

According to the latest data by the National Environment Agency, only 13 per cent of the 74,000 tonnes of glass waste generated in the country was recycled in 2021. At the same time, due to growing populations, urbanisation and infrastructure development, the world is facing a shortage of sand, with climate scientists calling it one of the greatest sustainability challenges of the 21st century.

Using a specially formulated concrete mix comprising recycled glass, the NTU research team has successfully 3D-printed a 40cm tall concrete bench – demonstrating for the first time that glass can be used to 3D-print a bench with excellent structural integrity.

To initiate the commercialisation process, a Technology Disclosure has been filed for this innovation, and the NTU team is now collaborating with a Singapore start-up company to 3D print on a larger scale.

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