For both glass and ceramics, new innovations are bending the rules
If any material gets thin enough, it can become flexible, too. But to be truly useful in high-tech manufacturing, that ultra-thin material needs to remain durable and stable even in extreme heat.
It’s a tough problem, and Corning has solved it with glass and ceramics so thin they can be spooled on a roll.
And that’s not just for storage and shipping. Both flexible glass and flexible ceramics lend themselves to roll-to-roll processing, which customers see as a practical, affordable reality for manufacturing, too.
Imagine, for example, how a printing press can rapidly print the same text over and over on a single roll of paper. In a similar fashion, manufacturers can apply images, coatings, electronic circuitry, and more to the flexible material in a fast, cost-effective roll-to-roll process.
The innovations are opening new possibilities in such wide-ranging areas as architectural design and energy storage.
One example: Corning® Willow® Glass, which can be as thin as a sheet of paper -- 100 microns, to be exact. Bendable, wearable electronic displays are both possible and practical with Willow Glass. And it’s made a splash as a laminate on flat construction materials like wood or metal, offering a gleaming, chemically resistant surface.