MACOR® helps complex solutions take shape
MACOR® is a high-tech glass-ceramic. Like many of Corning’s glass-ceramic materials, it’s non-porous and virtually impervious to electricity and heat. What sets MACOR apart is its ability to be cut, ground, drilled, and shaped into intricate components with conventional machining tools.
That’s why NASA chose MACOR as the material for more than 200 distinctly shaped components in hinge points, windows, and doors for the Space Shuttle orbiter series. And because MACOR is so dimensionally stable, even at high temperatures, it’s the ideal partner for other materials (like most metals and sealing glasses) to create the hermetic seals needed in such harsh environments.
Versatile MACOR is also the material of choice for many medical device manufacturers who require components with exceptional stability, radiation resistance, and extremely tight tolerance. Those attributes can result in more precise diagnostic and treatment equipment and better patient care.
Corning® Gorilla® Glass-Ceramics expand the design palette
Many of the properties that make Corning® Gorilla® Glass so successful are available in a remarkable new glass-ceramic composition. Just like their glass counterparts, Gorilla Glass-Ceramics feature outstanding surface quality, a slim form factor, and the ability to be formed into three-dimensional shapes. An ion-exchange process toughens the surface to make it highly resistant to scratches and other damage. And many of the same options available in Gorilla Glass – like an antimicrobial surface or a matte finish to minimize fingerprints – are also available in Gorilla Glass-Ceramics.
However, unlike transparent cover glass, Gorilla Glass-Ceramics can range from slightly translucent to nearly opaque. And they come in a wide range of color-tuned options, with pristine white and chic black topping the popularity list.
The distinctive material lends a sleek, sophisticated touch to the encasements of high-end products like electronic devices.
Glass vs. Ceramics — what’s what?
The primary difference between glass and ceramics is the chemical bonding that holds the internal structure of the material together.
Unlike glass, in which atoms are arranged in a random order, ceramic materials are characterized by the association of positive and negative ions forming a regular pattern of crystals. This, in turn, can scatter the light to which they are exposed. This phenomenon usually results in an opaque, rather than transparent, material – although there are examples of transparent ceramics.
Halfway between the two materials are glass-ceramics, which start life as a glass and then transform into a nearly completely crystalline substance. This happens by applying intense, carefully controlled heat and adding a nucleating agent – silver or titanium, for example – that forms “seeds” around which crystals can grow.
Pyroceram® glass-ceramic handles heat — and much more — with a touch of luxury
This venerable Corning innovation was the material for CorningWare cookware, the line that became a stove-to-table phenomenon in the late 1950s.
Today’s Pyroceram® material is still a fixture in the kitchen, and has the potential to provide a robust and stylish material for countertops and appliances.
Corning researchers have taken Pyroceram materials’ winning combination of properties – lightweight, hard, non-porous, and durable – and enhanced them to meet today’s standards.
A busy cook can set a sizzling-hot pan on a gleaming Pyroceram countertop without worrying about damage, because the counter handles high temperatures with ease. Pyroceram material can be cleaned easily with ordinary household products. And contractors have the added advantage of being able to customize panel sizes with on-site cutting during installation.
Designers can choose stunning black, pristine white, and smoky translucents, as well as a variety of surface finishes and color treatments.
Glass-ceramics ready to shine wherever consumers look, touch, and go
Powerful trends continue to drive new potential applications for Corning® Glass-Ceramics.
As automotive manufacturers seek to distinguish their brands, glass-ceramics offer new opportunities to connect with consumers and create a sense of luxury. Sleek glass-ceramics on interactive surfaces and interior touch points are just two of many possibilities.
In the home, consumers desire versatile, lightweight appliances with a clean, streamlined appearance. Smart, integrated devices are also on the rise. Glass-ceramics can provide the beauty and durability that these sophisticated appliances demand.
Consumers also favor materials that please their senses and create emotional connections. With one simple touch, everyone can distinguish between a synthetic surface and an authentic material like glass or ceramics.
Finally, consumers, architects, and designers are paying more attention to the effects that materials may have on their families, pets, and the environment. Many consumers will pay a premium for products that are made with natural materials and free from harmful outgassing – positioning glass-ceramic materials favorably for future home trends.