Schott: the search for super glass

2013-08-20 | Science & technology

Industry is demanding ever thinner, yet sturdy, transparent materials. Applied Research at SCHOTT is therefore pursuing a clear objective: to develop glass that is a lot stronger. In this article we get an idea of the new developments from this company.

Xensation® Cover aluminosilicate glass is considered to be one of the world’s strongest and most scratch resistant glasses
Ever stronger, yet thinner glass
Hardly anyone is aware that glass has enormous intrinsic strength. Nevertheless, its surface contains invisible production-related microcracks. These extend on into the inside of the glass when the material is put to use and reduce the usable strength down to only a fraction of its theoretical value. Unlike metal, glass is unable to compensate for these types of cracks by way of so-called plastic flow. It breaks very easily when it is bent.
The industry constantly places higher demands on glass materials. Glass that is less than 1 millimetre thick, yet far less likely to break and scratch, such as cover glasses for touch displays in mobile devices, for instance, is in great demand. Xensation® Cover aluminosilicate glass is therefore considered to be one of the world’s strongest and most scratch resistant glasses and is thus a prime example of how the company’s developers can achieve these types of unique mechanical properties.
“We essentially focus on having a stable bulk material for the glass and producing an incredibly strong surface that contains as few defects as possible and stands up well to mechanical forces. Material and process development always go hand-in-hand,” explains Dr. Rüdiger Sprengard, Head of Product Development at SCHOTT Research. On the material side, the goal is to achieve a synthesis of glass blocks with a high chemical bond.
Gaining deeper insights into the relationship between the material composition and its a...



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Article taken from Glass-Technology International bi-monthly magazine (6 issues per year)
Year: 2013 number: 4
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