Corning is mostly known for making what it claims is the world’s toughest glass, including Gorilla Glass and Lotus Glass, for use in various gadgets. But Corning announced yet another glass product–this time, it’s one that’s thin as paper and flexible as plastic called Willow Glass.
Willow Glass can be made as thin as 100 microns to maximize the sensitivity of touchscreens. Despite its extreme thinness, Corning says that it still retains toughness and resistance to scratches.
The glass will probably see its first share of use in contraptions to make them lighter and thinner with the low-profile substrate.
What interests us more, however, is that Corning says that the glass could actually be used to wrap a display around a device or object. With that in mind, we could possibly see some very interestingly shaped displays beyond the slightly curved shape of the Galaxy Nexus and Nexus S smartphones. Corning is already looking into other potential applications for its Willow Glass, including flexible lighting and solar panels.
The company is currently shipping samples of Willow Glass to select customers, manufacturers, and research institutions to help them develop new displays and touch interfaces. Eventually, Corning hopes to be able to manufacture its Willow Glass into extremely long rolls of glass in place of the current “sheet-to-sheet” process.