Rare earths have many applications in glass & ceramics. It is used as a clarifying agent, additive, decolorizing agent, colorant, and polishing powder in glass manufacturing; a variety of ceramic pigments produced by rare earth elements have the advantages of low price, positive color, bright color, and high-temperature resistance.
Rare earth elements have only been used in glass manufacturing for nearly 100 years. In the late 19th century, cerium oxide was used as a decolorizing agent. In the 1920s, rare earth borate glass was developed. In the 1930s, lanthanide optical glass with a high refractive index and low dispersion was made. Due to the high refraction and low dispersion characteristics of some rare earth elements, they can be used to produce optical glass, which can be used to make good lenses for good optical instruments such as cameras, cameras, and telescopes; Some rare earth elements have anti-radiation properties, so they can be used to produce anti-radiation glass; Adding rare earth oxides can also make other optical glass and special glass for different purposes, including glass that can pass infrared rays and absorb ultraviolet rays, acid-resistant and heat-resistant glass, and X-ray-proof glass.
Rare earth elements have good optical, electrical, magnetic, superconducting, and other properties, and have been widely used in functional ceramics. Doping certain rare earth elements in the raw materials of many functional ceramics can not only improve the sinterability, density, and strength of ceramics, but also significantly improve their unique functional effects. Research in recent years has also shown that rare earths also play a unique role in new ceramic materials such as bioceramics and antibacterial ceramics. Since rare earth elements can synergize with transition elements such as silver, zinc, and copper, the developed rare earth composite phosphate antibacterial can generate a large number of hydroxyl radicals on the surface of ceramics, thereby enhancing the antibacterial properties of ceramics.