Down-draw process fabricates ultrathin glass

Oct. 9, 2012
Scientists at Schott AG have developed a down-draw process that moves molten glass using a nozzle and roller system into an ultrathin glass sheet, in much the same way that optical fibers are drawn from a glass preform.

Scientists at Schott AG (Mainz, Germany) have developed a down-draw process that moves molten glass using a nozzle and roller system into an ultrathin glass sheet, in much the same way that optical fibers are drawn from a glass preform. This process creates a naturally fire-polished ultrathin sheet of glass, eliminating the need for additional grinding and polishing to meet application requirements.

The glass produced in the down-draw process covers the range of thickness from 1.1 mm down to 20 μm. In addition to the wide thickness range, the down-draw surface-defect level fulfills tight demands with ±5 μm and 10/5 scratch/dig (according to MIL-PRF-13830B), respectively, with 2–3× improved surface roughness at <0.8 nm and, depending on the glass type, low thermal expansion (3.25 ppm/K) and high temperature stability (>600ºC). In addition, the down-draw process is very flexible when it comes to changing production materials according to customer requirements: The down-draw process can be reconfigured in just days to handle different glass types and different thicknesses. Contact Tara Maggiano at [email protected].

About the Author

Gail Overton | Senior Editor (2004-2020)

Gail has more than 30 years of engineering, marketing, product management, and editorial experience in the photonics and optical communications industry. Before joining the staff at Laser Focus World in 2004, she held many product management and product marketing roles in the fiber-optics industry, most notably at Hughes (El Segundo, CA), GTE Labs (Waltham, MA), Corning (Corning, NY), Photon Kinetics (Beaverton, OR), and Newport Corporation (Irvine, CA). During her marketing career, Gail published articles in WDM Solutions and Sensors magazine and traveled internationally to conduct product and sales training. Gail received her BS degree in physics, with an emphasis in optics, from San Diego State University in San Diego, CA in May 1986.

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