Lasers recycle CRT funnel glass

June 29--At its Mid-Glamorgan plant, Citiraya Recycling Technology is using laser cutting to recycle CRTs from TVs and PC monitors.

"The funnel glass contains a high degree of lead oxide whereas the panel glass has no lead," says plant manager Robert Noakes. "Remanufacturers of funnel glass can accept slight panel glass contamination in their funnel glass recyclate, but the remanufacturers of panel glass demand a pure, uncontaminated glass source."

There are other CRT glass separation techniques, including sawing and thermal crack induction, that are also suitable for CRT remanufacturing.

During laser cutting, the tube sits face down on a turntable and the laser cuts part-way through its thickness just below the frit seal glass, which joins the two components, and contains up to 65 percent lead, said Noakes.

The process takes 30 to 90 seconds depending on the tube size and the plant can handle 450,000 to 500,000 CRTs per year, estimated to be about five to eight percent of the UK's CRT waste output in any one year, according to the firm.

About half the weight of a TV is the CRT and WEEE legislation requires producers to prove 65 percent of the weight of discarded TVs and monitors is recycled, which makes effective glass recycling essential, said Noakes.

For more information, visit www.citiraya.co.uk.

This article, written by Steve Bush, originally appeared on ElectronicsWeekly.com.

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