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Inside the Far-Out Glass Lab


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Furnace workers at Cornings research melters.

Engineers at Corning's research lab in New York are developing new materials in their quest to expand the capabilities of glass.

Credit: Rachel Jerome Ferraro

Engineers at Corning's research lab in New York are developing new materials in their quest to expand the capabilities of glass.

The manufacture of flexible, lightweight, and unbreakable glass could create new product categories ranging from rollable or foldable cellphones and tablets to curved touchscreen displays.

Although the bulk of Corning's research focuses on new fabrication processes and gradual enhancements to existing products such as Gorilla Glass, some projects are more experimental. Potential new products are subjected to all types of rough treatment, such as repeated bending, to test their durability and strength. The pressure required to fracture glass is measured by fractography experts, who study the crack patterns for clues about mechanical forces in order to make the glass more resilient.

In addition, Corning develops new processes for handling glass, which can help device makers produce custom pieces for new types of electronics.

From Technology Review
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