Flexible Glass Revealed By Scientists [Willow Glass]
Scientists on Wednesday unveiled “Willow Glass” a new product from the makers of Gorilla Glass which is used to make mobile device displays. The new product can be “wrapped” around a device said developer Corning.
The company says the glass could eventually be used for devices that are not flat but in the meantime they plan to put the glass in action on devices that are becoming increasingly slim.
According to Dipak Chowdhury, Willow Glass program director at Corning:
“Displays become more pervasive each day and manufacturers strive to make both portable devices and larger displays thinner.”
The new Willow Glass product is as thin as a sheet of paper and can be manufactured down to just 0.05mm, far more thin than current displays which are .2mm or .5mm in thickness.
According to the glass manufacturer they have already begun providing Willow Glass to various customers so they can design phones around the product.
To create the new glass the company uses a process called fusion in which they melt down needed ingredients at 500C and then roll out a sheet of the material. By using a roll-to-roll method the process allows for more sustainable mass production results.
Here is a rendering of the roll-to-roll process used to create the Willow Glass product:
Corning is not the first company to develop a piece of flexible glass, Canadian and US researchers developed a prototype for flexible glass in 2011, however Corning’s relationship with more than 30 manufacturers and their sales of more than half a billion smartphone displays will likely give them the upper hand in the market.