Principal investigator: Himanshu Jain

University: Lehigh University

Industry partner: MCS Industries Inc.

MCS Industries is a global home décor manufacturing company headquartered in Easton, Pennsylvania. The majority of MCS products include Picture Frames, Bath Mirrors, Decorative Mirrors, Home Décor and Medicine Cabinets.

Due to industry demand and retail price points, MCS product lines must use lower thickness float glass and/or mirror, which is “fragile” and can be easily broken within the supply chain. As a result, MCS incurs millions of dollars in product damages annually. Compounding the problem, MCS adds additional packaging materials to limit product damage within the supply chain. The packaging includes paper corrugate, expanded polystyrene (EPS) etc., which create higher waste and product distribution costs.

As part of the PA Manufacturing Innovation Program, MCS Industries and Lehigh University are proposing an Innovation project to develop a pre and/or post glass manufacturing technique or process combining acid etching with coatings to strengthen lower thickness glass and mirror products. Project success will hinge upon improving fracture toughness of glass and mirror, and/or improving the physical impact resistance as simulated by ISTA Transit Test Protocols.