How is paper-thin glass made?

In the wake of smartphone glass displays that captured the imagination (and R&D attention) of the very latest communications technology, Gorilla Glass founder, Corning Inc, has announced a revolutionary smart surface promising to resonate even deeper.

Willow Glass, at just 0.01 millimetres (0.0004 inches) thin, is the width of a single sheet of paper. While Gorilla Glass carved out a niche as the ultimate protective cover on board some of the very latest examples of smartphone innovation, Willow Glass is a substrate that can be used in the multiple layers that actually make up these devices. Its unique thinness means it is capable of bending, allowing for the development of curved portable gadgets like phones or larger displays. It retains the positive properties of standard display glass, but gains a level of durability through its flexibility – much like its willow branch namesake.

This material is manufactured via Corning’s proprietary ‘Fusion’ process, which yields a uniquely pristine and continuous sheet of LCD-grade glass up to a metre (3.2 feet) wide, which can then be rolled in a similar fashion to a printing press.

This property makes Willow Glass the ideal candidate to help enable emerging ‘bendable’ smartphones as well as OLED and LCD displays, tablets and notebooks that require more functional and tactile screens.