Corning, an American company who manufactures glass, ceramics and optical fibre materials, is arguably most recognised for its Gorilla Glass product that features on millions of mobile phones. The company has today announced a brand new type of glass which the company hopes will be the evolution of their current products used in the technology industry.
The new ultra-thin glass goes by the name of Willow Glass, as the glass can be wrapped around a device. Corning showed off the new type of glass at the Society for Information Display’s Display Week, which is an industry trade show held in Boston.
The company said that besides smartphones, Willow Glass can also be used for displays that are not flat. But as curved displays are not really that widely available yet, the product could be used to allow smartphones to become much slimmer.
The prototype that was demonstrated in Boston was a thin as a piece of paper, which Corning says can be made to be just 0.05mm thick, whereas current glass displays used on devices such as smartphones are around 0.2mm or 0.5mm thick.
The company is currently supplying some of its customers who develop new displays and touch technologies with samples of the new glass.
The material used to manufacture the Willow Glass is a result of the company’s glass making process which they call Fusion. This technique involves melting the required ingredients at 500C, which is then rolled out into a continuous sheet, similar to that used in a traditional printing press. According to Corning, the process used is also much easier and faster for producing glass compared to the sheet-to-sheet process which is currently used to manufacture super-thin glass.
It’s possible that in the future Willow Glass may replace the company’s Gorilla Glass, which was first launched in 2007. Since then it has been used in more than 575 products by 33 manufacturers, covering around half a billion devices worldwide.