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Smart Materials & Coatings

Fraunhofer experts accelerate the production of thin glass

Glass is not only a production material, but also serves as a high-quality design element. The Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) has now developed a process with which components made of thin glass can be produced in just a few minutes.

07 Aug. 2018
Fraunhofer experts accelerate the production of thin glass (Photo: Fraunhofer IPT)

Products made of thin glass such as rounded smartphone displays or touch light switches in the car radiate a special value. However, their production is complicated, especially since it is supposed to be durable and scratch-resistant. The Fraunhofer IPT in Aachen has now combined several processes to produce such components from thin glass in the shortest possible time and in high quantities. The processes have already been tested together with industrial partners.

Depending on the requirements, several combined forming processes are used during production, such as vacuum support or overpressure. The Fraunhofer IPT can thereby offer companies a rapid development of prototypes and processes. According to the institute, possible applications are glass products with functionalized surfaces, special feel or high surface quality.

Glass has been used as a material for millennia. It also plays an important role for cars of the future, Christiane Köllner reported on "Springer Professional." The current trends included glazing for lightweight construction, non-metallic glass coatings to increase driving comfort, and durable glasses with intelligent additional functions as a driving aids.