SCHOTT Produces Ultra-Thin Glass for Reliable Drone Labeling
In a special process, the ultra-thin glass from SCHOTT is labeled with a glass-titanium-carbon composite (ceramic) that withstands temperatures of over 1,000°C.
Roboterwerk GmbH has developed a reliable solution for labeling drones that can withstand fires and explosions of lithium-ion batteries in emergencies: ultra-thin glass from SCHOTT. Glass offers many advantages over metals since it is only affected in the event of a fire at temperatures above 600°C, is extremely light, and has no influence on sensors and attitude systems.
Whether for private or professional purposes, drones are more sophisticated and more popular than ever. The unmanned aircraft—usually designed as multicopters or quadrocopters—have been subject to statutory labeling requirements since April 2017. Since then, owners of a flying drone with a take-off mass of 0.25 kg or more have been required to label the flying object with their name and address. This allows the owner to be quickly identified in the event of a crash. It is important that the label is “permanent and fireproof and firmly attached to the device,” writes the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI) on its website.
Roboterwerk identified glass as the ideal carrier material for air drone labeling and developed an ideal license plate solution. In a special process, the ultra-thin glass from SCHOTT is labeled with a glass-titanium-carbon composite (ceramic) that withstands temperatures of over 1,000°C.
“The ultra-thin glass from SCHOTT is fireproof, stable and light,” said Moritz Aßmus-Hubrich, Roboterwerk press spokesman. “This ideally suits it as a carrier material for drone license plates, as it is much more refractory than widely used aluminum.”
Roboterwerk uses the aluminosilicate glass SCHOTT AS 87 eco, produced in Germany, hardened to a thickness of less than 150 micrometers. The glass only changes its shape at temperatures of 870°C, which means that it can survive lithium-ion battery fires at temperatures over 660°C. For comparison, aluminum melts at 660.3°C.
“Many countries have already introduced a mandatory labeling requirement for air drones,” said Aßmus-Hubrich. “In Germany, this label must also be ‘fireproof.’ However, since the term ‘fireproof’ is not clearly defined, we are playing it safe with ultra-thin glass from SCHOTT. It retains its shape reliably in the event of fire without having a negative influence on weight or disturbing sensors. Glass is a significant step ahead of other labeling solutions.”
“We are delighted that Roboterwerk approached us with this idea,” said Thomas Werninghaus, Ph.D., senior sales manager at SCHOTT Advanced Optics. “The example demonstrates the many possible applications of ultra-thin glass and invites engineers and product developers from all industries to constantly rethink the fields of application of glass.”