This week in glass news, Schott is developing ultra-thin flexible glass with the ultimate goal of providing foldable glass for electronics.
Rüdiger Sprengard, director of business development for ultrathin glass, reportedly says the company can now continuously manufacture flexible glass that is 70 micrometers thick in kilometers-long sheets. The first consumer product to use Schott’s new glass is the fingerprint sensor on a smartphone made by LeTV. The new glass can’t quite fold yet, but Sprengard says they hope to have it ready in a few years.
As the glass gets thinner, the challenges change, says Scott Forester, director of Gorilla Glass® Innovations at Corning. Corning is also developing ultrathin glass, and sells a product that is 100 micrometers thick. Flexible screens are used in devices like the Galaxy Edge. The OLED display within the phone is made on plastic and laminated with a Corning Gorilla glass coverslip. If that cover glass were flexible, the device itself may be flexible.
Forester says the pieces are in place for more flexible consumer electronics. The glass is ready and the flexible circuits are almost ready. All that remains is for designers to develop a product that appeals to consumers.
Other stories from around the web: