‘Willow Glass’: Ultra-thin ‘n wrap-around

Scientists have developed a flexible glass that can wrap around devices such as cell phone.

Written by Agencies | London | Published:June 8, 2012 11:49 am

Scientists have developed a new type of flexible ultra-thin glass that can be wrapped around your electronic devices such as the mobile phone.

Called the ‘Willow Glass’,the product is as thin as a sheet of paper,and its manufacturer said that it can be made to be just 0.05 mm thick — thinner than the current 0.2 mm or 0.5 mm displays.

Developed by the New York-based firm Corning,known for its Gorilla Glass that is currently used to make screens of many mobile devices,the prototype glass was showcased at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week,an industry trade show in Boston.

Besides smartphones,it could also be used for displays that are not flat,the company said. But till such conformable screens appear on the market,the glass could be used for mobile devices that are constantly becoming slimmer,it said. “Displays become more pervasive each day and manufacturers strive to make both portable devices and larger displays thinner,” Dipak Chowdhury,Willow Glass programme director at Corning,was quoted as saying by the BBC.

According to Chowdhury,the material used to make Willow Glass is the result of the firm’s glassmaking process called Fusion.

The technique involves melting the ingredients at 500 degrees Celsius and then producing a continuous sheet that can be rolled out in a mechanism similar to traditional printing press,he said.

This roll-to-roll method is much easier and faster for mass production than the sheet-to-sheet process normally used to make super-thin glass,the firm said.

In future,Willow Glass may replace the widely-used Gorilla Glass,found on many smartphones and tablets.

The firm said it has already started supplying customers developing new display and touch technology with samples of the product.

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