New Mexico Patent of the Month – February 2024

Earthstone International, LLC has been working with 98% recycled glass to bring about a new realm of sustainability. Thanks to this commitment to innovation, the company has been granted a patent for their foamed glass technology which brings new levels of ease to the construction industry.

While foamed glass is not a completely new concept, most available products are designed in a manner that causes them to expand when exposed to water. While this has benefits when used as a filler, it can also cause constructed structures to set in unexpected and unstable ways. Earthstone International takes a new approach, designing a foamed glass composition that is more resistant to this expansion and supports improved stability overall.

The process commences with paving an area using foamed glass bodies, creating a foundational bed with interconnected open-cell porosity. Following this, a layer of cementitious material is applied, resulting in a composite bed that boasts a remarkable composition: at least 85 percent foamed glass bodies harmoniously embedded in a cementitious matrix, culminating in a surface with cementitious properties.

What sets this invention apart is not only the innovative combination of materials but also the versatility in the choice of glass compositions. Traditional soda-lime-silica compositions or variations with different metal oxides are on the table. The flexibility extends to the manufacturing process, allowing for simultaneous mixing of foamed glass bodies with cementitious material to create a cohesive paving mixture.

The composite roadbed born from this method comprises a predominant foamed glass aggregate portion and an infiltrating cementitious matrix portion, the resulting bed is not only lightweight, with a specific gravity of less than 0.75, but also structurally robust. The foamed glass aggregate, with its open-cell structure, interplays seamlessly with the cementitious matrix, offering a surface that retains the signature strength of Portland cement.

Are you developing new technology for an existing application? Did you know your development work could be eligible for the R&D Tax Credit and you can receive up to 14% back on your expenses? Even if your development isn’t successful your work may still qualify for R&D credits (i.e. you don’t need to have a patent to qualify). To find out more, please contact a Swanson Reed R&D Specialist today or check out our free online eligibility test.

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