Sustainability is a key strategic objective of industrial organizations. A fundamentally stronger usable glass would revolutionize the efficiencies of glass production and uses. However, most glass companies cannot independently support a fundamental research agenda to understand and significantly improve the usable strength of glass. By working together with pooled funding and shared risk, the opportunity to significantly improve the usable strength of glass is achievable.



An industry driven and supported pre-competitive research program to identify critical parameters for improving the usable strength of glass.


First Access To Research Results:

The mission of the Coalition is to place all research results in the public domain and not to seek patent protection. However, Coalition participants have the substantial benefit of having first access to the research results prior to the results being made public.



The coalition will focus on “pre-competitive research” with the following key benefits to coalition members:
  • A fundamental understanding of the initiation of flaws in both simple and multi-component oxide glasses, including new tools and analysis techniques.
  • Ensuring glass science research continues at the university level and to provide industry guidance on the direction of research.
  • Fostering collaborative relationships among industry members and between industry and universities.
  • The development of the next generation of glass technical experts and researchers.

Research Strategy:

The Coalition research agenda is comprised of a series of individual, pre-competitive multi-year university research projects. A number of industry and university experts have contributed to the creation of a research strategy, guiding a potential research Request for Proposal which is appended to this document. The research strategy and subsequent RFP will be refined through research council and board process.
  • The overall focus of the research strategy can be described in terms of improving the understanding of:
  • Glass surface structure and chemistry, particularly as it relates to the susceptibility to chemical, thermal and physical damage.
  • Mechanisms of chemical and physical damage (flaw generation) as they relate to usable strength reduction.
  • Additional topic areas of interest include computer modeling techniques and surface treatments/coatings.


Alignment With GMIC:

The Usable Glass Strength Coalition has aligned with the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC) as a key strategic partner to leverage their extensive experience and credibility with industry, university and government agencies.  The Coalition has been incorporated as a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC), wholly owned by GMIC. Coalition participation is completely independent of the GMIC and does not require GMIC membership.





Annual Participation Fee, Participation Level And Voting Power

Participation Level





Sales/Purchases Metric

≥$1 billion

<$1 billion

≥$100 million

<$100 million

Annual Participation Fee





Voting Power

4 votes

2 votes


1 vote

 International Membership:

Participation is open to all companies, industry consortia and universities, regardless of country of origin. Participation may be restricted by country due to legislative restrictions established by The State of Ohio (UGSC state of incorporation) and/or The United States of America.

Organization Status:

  • Current participation – 6 organizations have signed participation agreements.
    • Johns Manville – Manufacturer – Gold Level
    • Sun Chemical – Supplier – Bronze level
    • US Borax – Rio Tinto Minerals – Supplier – Bronze level
    • GMIC – Trade Association – Sponser
  • Commitments from additional coalition participants are anticipated in the near future.
  • Each participating organization appoints a representative to serve on the board of directors and a representative to serve on the research council.

 Leadership And Management:

  • Executive Committee:
    • Chairman – Jeff Shock, Johns Manville
    • Vice Chairman – Andrew Zamurs, Rio Tinto Minerals
    • Secretary – Robert Weisenburger Lipetz. Glass Manufacturing Industry Council
  • Management:
    • Technical Director: Alastair Cormack, Independent Consultant
    • Administrator: Robert Weisenburger Lipetz, Glass Manufacturing Industry Council

Research Status:

  • October 2016. Announced award of $80,000 for a grant to Colorado School of Mines (CSM). The research, Fundamental Understanding of Strength Limiting Flaws in Multi-Component Glass, will be led by principle investigator, Ivar Reimanis, Herman F. Coors Distinguished Professor of Ceramic Engineering, Director, Colorado Center for Advanced Ceramics, Professor, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. A flaw that dictates fracture in glass may have many attributes that are not included in a standard fracture mechanics approach to predict failure. This is particularly true for high strength glasses where flaw nucleation is at the atomic or nanometer scale or depends on processes at the atomic or nano length scale. The research seeks to understand the nature of these flaws in relation to the nucleation of cracks, and their formation during processing or handling in specific situations such as in the container and fiber industries. A combination of fracture testing, nano-scale characterization and modeling will be employed to describe how cracks nucleate. Modern analytic instrumentation, including focused ion beam (FIB) sectioning, atom probe tomography (APT), and state-of-the-art electron microscopy will be employed to enable previously unachievable levels of resolution and analytical information.
  • October 2016.  Pennsylvania Statue University research grant renewed for fourth year.
  • October 2, 2013. Announced award of $110,000 for a grant to Pennsylvania State University (PSU), University Park, Pennsylvania, to carry out research that aims to improve the understanding of manufactured glass products’ strength properties (currently renewed for fourth year). The research, which is currently ongoing, controlling and understanding reactive surface sites on multicomponent glasses, is led by principle investigator, Seong H. Kim, PhD, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Associate Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at PSU. The aim of the study is to characterize the distribution and chemical nature of reactive surface sites on glass that nucleate strength-controlling defects. As stated in the PSU research abstract, “It is reasonable to expect that the existence and concentration of strength-controlling atomic and nano-scale defect precursors depend on the surface cooling rate and the local atmosphere. These processing variables could provide an effective means to controlling and enhancing the strength of glass through irreversible chemical (or physical) passivation of these defect precursors at time of their creation.”

Participant Rights:

Coalition participation includes the right to:
  • Obtain early access to the research body of work.
  • Collectively set the Coalition research agenda.
  • Collectively select research projects for funding.


Coalition funding is supported through semi-annual payments of annual participation fees. The primary function of the participation fee is to fund university research projects. Initially the research agenda is intended to be wholly funded through the participation fees. However, the long-term vision of the Coalition is to supplement the annual participation fees with financial support from external resources, including but not limited to government agencies.


Participation Fees And Voting Power:

The annual participation fee and voting power is determined on a “sliding scale” based on metrics associated with global annual sales or purchases of the participating company. Companies who join the coalition commit to a minimum of two years participation.
  • Manufacturers: Annual participation fee and voting power is calculated based on annual glass sales.
  • Suppliers: Annual participation fee and voting power is assigned at the Bronze Level.
  • Users: Annual participation fee and voting power is calculated based on annual purchase of glass products.
  • Government Agency: Annual participation fee and voting power is assigned at the Bronze Level.
  • Industry Consortium: Annual participation fee and voting power is calculated based on the following formulas.
    • Gold Member = Number of Members x 0.5 x Silver Level
      • Ex: 10 members x 0.5 x $20,000 = $100,000 for Consortium to receive 4 votes
    • Silver Member = Number of Members x 0.5 x Bronze Level
      • Ex: 10 members x 0.5 x $10,000 = $50,000 for Consortium to receive 2 votes

The Glass Problems Conference

Hosted November 5-8, 2019 the 79th Conference on Glass Problems takes place at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus, Ohio.

The Usable Glass Strength Coalition

Sustainability is a key strategic objective of industrial organizations. A fundamentally stronger usable glass would revolutionize the efficiencies of glass production and uses.

Glass Manufacturing Industry Report

A detailed and comprehensive reference source for intelligence on the glass manufacturing industry produced by the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council.