DURYEA — A new type of porous glass made locally is helping purify drugs in medical research and protect aircraft in the aerospace industry.
The new CoralPor® porous glass, a high-performance glass used in the medical, aerospace, defense, and oil and gas industries, was developed and is manufactured at SCHOTT North America Inc. on York Avenue. The new product, developed with the help of $100,000 in gaming revenue through Luzerne County and a more than $1 million investment by SCHOTT, is helping to sustain the company’s international competitiveness and protecting local jobs, officials said during program Tuesday at SCHOTT.
The program honored state Sen. John Blake, D-Archbald, and state Rep. Mike Carroll, D-Avoca, for their support and help in obtaining funding for the company. U.S. Rep. Matt Carwright also attended.
“SCHOTT made a significant investment to leverage these funds,” Cartwright said during the brief program that followed a presentation on the new product.
“Things are going as successful as you project,” Blake told the gathering of company and government officials.
“We’re thrilled with the success as a result of this investment,” Carroll added during his comments.
Carroll also credited borough officials, including Duryea Mayor Keith Moss who was in attendance, for their support of the company.
SCHOTT Vice President of Research and Development Eric Urruti said the idea for the new manufacturing process began in 2009 and the company made its first sale in 2012.
“It’s now in full production,” he said. “This preserves and protects jobs locally.”
Urruti, who holds a doctorate in chemistry, said the company’s new porous glass is used in medicine to purify drugs used to treat diseases such as cancer and lupus, in the aerospace industry as protective glass that won’t melt under extremely high temperature and in the military.
Holding up a thin 6-inch rod of the porous glass, he said the piece actually had an area the size of a football field.
He said the company’s glass products are sold in Asia and Europe, as well as in the United States.
Jim Stein, SCHOTT vice president of government affairs, said the company brought in nine additional apprentices and a couple technical employees, but since they also perform tasks such as melting glass that are used for the new and other manufacturing processes, it was difficult to say if all new employees were tied to the new process.
“Our first goal is to sustain employment,” Stein said.
The company employs 230 between research and development and manufacturing at its Duryea site.
The Duryea facility is SCHOTT’s flagship Advanced Optics production facility. It also is the North American headquarters for research, development and innovation for SCHOTT, an international technology group that develops and manufactures specialty glass and materials used in the household appliance, pharmaceutical, electronics, optics and transportation industries. The company has manufacturing and sales units in 35 countries with a workforce of 15,400.