Corning's super-thin, 100-micron, flexible Willow Glass can be adapted to high-volume, low-cost, roll-to-roll manufacturing processes, which hasn't been possible with glass. Now samples are available, it's being applied to solar panels and touch panels, as well as displays, and Corning is helping customers retrofit or build new lines to integrate the material into manufacturing. (Source: Corning)
AnandY, glad this was helpful info for you. I think it's a good example of what can be done with enough resources: brains, money, expertise and time. As far as I've been able to determine, this glass is unique. It will be interesting to see how this affects future designs.
The super –thin flexible glass is definitely a plus for Corning. As one would have it, it will bring about a few changes that will see better mobile phone covers as well as other electronic applications given that it is made adaptable to high-volume as well as low-cost manufacturing processes. It will also come as quite appealing to most customers given that it can be wrapped around electronic products owing to it being thin
Ann the update is fantastic. The extra thin glass can be used in an array of design work to enable an improved functioning of the devices. The compact nature of the glass will enable more flexibility in the field of design.
It was interesting to find out that, since roll-to-roll manufacturing is very new in companies that use glass in their products, this is turning out to be as big a deal as the material itself, maybe bigger.
Thanks, Al. I did this update because the first time I reported on this, I was very interested in what would happen after some of Corning's customers started playing with the material and figuring out what they could do with it.
I find the conformable concept interesting in general. Here we have conformable displays. Over in flexible electronics, as we reported here http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=265097 there are conformable printed electronics.
A new compression molding compound material combines the light weight, strength, and rigidity of carbon fibers with the flexibility and lower cost of glass materials in a composite compatible with automotive production.
Plastic bearings are real and millions of them are in use doing heavy-duty jobs we used to think only metals could do. Some of Germany-based igus's bearings are traveling around the world as functional parts in a car to demonstrate what they can do.
Baxter showed off his 2.0-derived moves at ATX West this year. The big red guy still looks pretty much the same, but has some new abilities, mostly due to software. The research robot version is now being used in corporate R&D departments as a design platform.
End-production using 3D printing, including objects made of multiple materials in one pass, is getting closer to reality as we saw on the exhibit floor at the recent Pacific Design & Manufacturing Show.