Research and Development at Saint-Gobain
Designing innovative, high performance products and solutions to improve our habitat and everyday life is at the heart of Saint-Gobain's strategy. This is a responsibility for the Group’s teams, as well as a major source of motivation. Through their innovations, the teams contribute to reducing the environmental impacts of buildings, processes and the development of new high-performance solutions.
Indoor air quality has become a major component of building comfort in the last few years. A new cross-business program to improve indoor air quality was set up in 2013 to enhance competences in this field more effectively and improve Saint-Gobain’s ability to develop key technologies.
Seven major research centers, 12 research centers dedicated to specific activities, 100 development units
With its new center in Chennai, India, Saint-Gobain now has seven major cross-functional research centers that serve all the Activities. The Group also has a dozen research centers dedicated to specific Activities and around 100 development units worldwide. Located close to customers, these units develop new products and processes in close cooperation with marketing and production teams.
To this end, 3,700 researchers and engineers are working on about 900 projects, to repeatedly offer our customers solutions which are innovative and adapted to meet their needs, producing a plus in terms of comfort.
About 260 researchers, engineers and other qualified employees work in the region of the General Delegation.
In the Herzogenrath Research & Development Center (HRDC), for example, the electrochrome glazing was further developed which, at the touch of a button, switches from non-transparent to transparent. This technology is used both in the motor industry for sun-roofs and in the construction industry.
In the area of glass wool insulation materials, the improvement in fire protection qualities with lower weight plays an outstanding role which led to the development of the new Isover Ultimate insulating material. This product was developed in the second large research center, The Ladenburg Development Center (LDC).
In addition, the improvement in grinding technologies, the development of new heat insulating compound systems for façades and the development of new composite materials are among the German research and development activities in the area of high-performance materials.
Research activities are focused on functional and active glazing, such as heated and switchable glass (from transparent to milky) or the incorporation of antennas and sensors (Smart Glass).
The research ranges from flat glass production (float glass process) and quality optimization to bending, tempering and cutting of glass.
Thin Film Technology and Surfaces
The research fields include the design and deposition of functional thin film systems as well as the structuring and selective removal of layers.
Smart Manufacturing and Robotics
With the expertise in intelligent automation, industry 4.0 and data analysis, HRDC examines and optimizes production processes for all Saint-Gobain brands.
LDC – Ladenburg Development Center
The Ladenburg Development Center (LDC) was founded at the beginning of 2011 through the merging of Technical Development (TE) of ISOVER and the research area of Rigips.
The main focus of the LDC is on the sector of construction products. In the LDC, 60 employees, made up of engineers, physicists, chemists, technicians and laboratory technicians conduct research for the product groups glass wool and plaster.
The LDC is made up of:
– LDC-I (Insulation) and
– LDC-G (Gypsum) broken up into the areas of development and application technology.
The most important tasks of the two areas are the development of new products and systems as well as the further development and improvement of existing products, production processes and systems. As soon as a new product has been created, the central tasks are the patenting, standardization, testing and licensing of the new product or the additive.
As a contact point for industry, research institutes and all the renowned technical colleges and universities, the LDC has access to a strong network.