Thin glass revolutionizes performance spectrum of glass & glass panes

February 26, 2018 Technical Articles2

The Results Would Be Exhibited At glasstec 2018 In Düsseldorf  October 23-26, 2018

Thin glass – as thin as a razor blade or a human hair – can protect smartphone touchscreens, sensitive filters and sensors. Despite its extreme thinness, it is highly resilient and scratch-proof. Furthermore, thanks to its flexibility and bending properties, it permits new applications in architecture, mobility and other industries. Thin glass is opening up new markets and turning visions into reality. How this works would be seen at glasstec 2018 in Düsseldorf.

Just as smartphones, tablets and-book readers have changed the way we communicate and convey knowledge, scratch-proof touchscreens have brought in a new era of glass, thus enhancing the performance of a material which has accompanied the history of mankind’s development since the first advanced civilizations. Ultra-thin protective glass seems more like film than glass and is bendable and hence flexible. It can even be rolled up and transported to customers on rolls (Fig. 1, 2). Special manufacturing processes are now available, allowing for the production of ultra-thin glassilms which – at 25 μm (0.025 mm) – are even thinner than a human hair or razor blade.

Thin glass – manufacturing methods and definition

The starting material for production is molten glass which then passeshrough rollers and is drawn upward or downward from a tank in what is known as an up-draw or down-draw process (Fig. 3, 4). It is then left to cool down on the production line as a film with the required thickness, ranging from 25 μm to 10 mm. Alongside these two methods – which, incidentally, are older than float glass manufacturing – thin glass can also be produced with different specifications, using overflow or micro-floating processes. Thin glass is in demand for a wide range of products in numerous industries (Figs. 5 and 6) and can be classified quite differently, depending on its thickness. Whereas in construction and architecture, glass is considered to be thin if it is below 3 mm, with virtually no reasonable or practicable use for thicknesses below 1 mm (and no measuring in micrometres). The needs are quite different

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