back to article Flexible Willow glass displays thin and curvy gadget future

Corning has been showing off a new form of flexible glass that is the thickness of a sheet of paper yet easy to mass-produce. Dubbed Willow glass, the material can be manufactured to just 0.05mm thickness compared to current 0.2mm or 0.5mm screens, and is suitable for touch control systems and with LCD and OLED displays. The …


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  1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    "Add slimness".

    Are they going to simplificate and add more lightness too?

    yeesh. :)

    1. Winston Smith
      Big Brother

      Scoff if you will

      but I bellyfeel this thing is doubleplusgood!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: adding lightness

      According to the article, they're going to _drive_ the weight out. They''l beat it with a stick, have an intervention and get an exorcist if they have to, but they'll _driiiiive_ the weight out and command it never to return!

  2. Mephistro

    << See icon

    "The extraordinary flexibility of the glass comes from the materials used to build it and the process by which it is made."

    1. Francis Boyle

      Much as I hate that expression

      there are times when it's appropriate.

    2. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: << See icon

      Oh come on.

      It could just as easily have come from trick photography and bullshit.

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: << See icon

        I'm guessing (and it's a WAG, for sure) that the quote is merely to imply that Corning is NOT employing Glass Fairies with magic wands to make the glass so thin and flexible. At least, not for this particular glass. But I could be very, very wrong about that - it could be pixie dust doing it, for sure.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Imagine the optical devices you could make with this...

    If they could make it even weakly piezoelectric, it could be beyond amazing.

  4. Chris 211

    marketing crap

    iLet hope there technology is better then there marketing department who are clearly full of crap and manage to say nothing and show nothing in a generic roller video. I don't want a slimmer phone, I want more space for a bigger battery!

    1. jon 72

      Re: marketing crap

      I prefered the term 'ribbon glass', that's what they called it twenty odd years ago on the Tomorrows World tv show.

    2. blem wit

      Re: marketing crap


      We need a Grammar Nazi icon.

      1. Zaphod.Beeblebrox

        At your service, sir.

        One Grammar Nazi icon, coming right up!

        1. This post has been deleted by its author

        2. blem wit
          Paris Hilton

          Re: At your service, sir.

          Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?


          He is not doing the Grammar salute.

          That icon is clearly unsuited for the task at hand!


          Now I will quietly retreat to a dark corner in order to adequately contemplate my own failure in being properly versed in El Reg's canon of visual aids.

          Paris, coz shes haz teh smartz jus liek meh.

      2. KenBW2

        Re: marketing crap

        "better then there marketing department"

        If you're going to be a Grammar Nazi (which I wholeheartedly approve of) at least finish the job.

        I'll leave it as an exercise to you to find the other error.

  5. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Vidoe long on pretty, short on information.

    BTW the "spilling out of a trough" is basically the Pilkington process where the glass floats on molten tin.

    However the equilibrium thickness for this is set by surface tension and density of the glass and the tin to around IIRC 7mm, but surface quality is excellent. The *thinning* process that Corning have developed sounds amazing.

    Note You know have a substrate that can take 500c process temperatures without damage which is also transparent.

    This *could* open up lots of more speculative ideas (if the price is right) which have been handicapped because some of the other pieces need high temperature process that existing substrates would be destroyed by.

    Thumbs up for some clever engineering.

    1. frank ly

      Re: Vidoe long on pretty, short on information.

      I would have thought that most combinations of steel and modern ceramics would be good to beyond 500 C. for industrial processes, provided the temperature change rate was controlled...... ?

      1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

        Re: Vidoe long on pretty, short on information.

        "I would have thought that most combinations of steel and modern ceramics would be good to beyond 500 C"

        And how many of those substrates are routinely transparent?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "capable of producing sheets a meter across"

    Please don't let Samsung hear about this or we'll need wheelbarrows for our phones!

  7. Ken 16 Silver badge

    Well, that explains everything

    "The extraordinary flexibility of the glass comes from the materials used to build it and the process by which it is made."

  8. brainwrong


    Surely the flexibility comes from it's thin-ness, similar to glass fibres.

    More marketing bullshit?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    "a device similar to a printing press"

    Ever seen a printing press?

  10. Jan 0 Silver badge

    Old news.

    Isn't this the same thin flexible glass that was going to revolutionise everything about 20 years ago? I'm still waiting for my motorcycle visor with 0.1mm glass glued on it.

  11. OrsonX
    IT Angle


    I wonder, if you flatten it bent over does is fracture or crease (like plastic)?

    I further wonder what the smallest diameter bend that can be achieved is, and how many flexes before it fractures/creases.

    I even further wonder if I should hold onto my iPhone 3G for just one more year to get next years phone with roll out screen?!

    1. Steven Roper

      Re: question

      iPhones won't have roll-out screens because fortunately Samsung beat Apple to the flexible-screen patent, and given Apple's recent patent megalomania, I don't think Samsung are likely to share. Which IMO serves Apple right.

  12. Semaj
    Thumb Down


    I see someone holding a bit of bendy perspex and an animation of some rollers.

    It all seems like lies to me.

  13. DanceMan

    Tells us nothing

    How does it break? How is it cut? What is the impact resistance?

  14. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    Oops. Corning *do* have their own glass process

    It works by filling a trough (or "isopipe" as they call it) which has a triangular cross section tapering to a point at the bottom. When over filled the contents form a sheet dripping down each side. The sheets merge to give the final result.

    The key benefit is that the inner and outer faces of the new sheet have *never* been in contact with anything (even Tin) and their smoothness can be very good and the sheet can be stretched further.

    Some of their patents suggest the isopipe is machined out of Silcon Nitride or Carbide (which needs to made in a low Oxygen environment) then surface oxidized to form a silica outer layer to reduce contamination even further.

    It's not very well explained in the article and I'd never heard of it *ever* before. Apparently it was developed in the late 60s to make car windscreens. Other than not being the Pilkington process I'm not sure what benefits it would have bought to that application.

    My bad

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