The partners are planning to introduce the first results together at an international technology and networking event, VISION | Flexible Glass, April 4-5, at Fraunhofer FEP in Dresden, Germany.
Glass which is bendable and flexible enough that it can be transferred directly from the melt to the roller for wrapping is not something out of a science fiction film, but rather an actual product for the here and now. At LOPEC, March 28-30 in Munich, each of the partners will have flexible thin glass on display at their respective exhibition booths.
SCHOTT is presenting several types of ultra-thin glass from its portfolio, which, due to their measure of flexibility, cannot only be wrapped around a finger, but also on to rolls. The highlight at the company booth is a close-to-production prototype of ultra-thin glass on roll, which is currently being further developed and optimized through mid-2018 under the auspices of KONFEKT.
With a minimal thickness of 25 micrometers (μm), Schott’s ultra-thin glass is thinner than a single human hair. In ultra-thin thicknesses of less than 150 micrometers this glass has proven to be bendable yet stable. This leads to advantages over other substrate materials such as plastics, metals or silicon. In addition, as an inorganic material, glass offers a wide variety of benefits, whether it is in terms of optical quality, temperature stability, chemical consistency, gas density or mechanical resistance.
Following LOPEC, Fraunhofer FEP is organizing and hosting an international research and networking event, April 4-5 in Dresden, VISION | Flexible Glass, which focuses on driving forward the development of ultra-thin flexible glass.
At both the workshop in Dresden and at LOPEC 2017 the development partners are preparing to demonstrate how to successfully transfer the large-scale production of ultra-thin glass substrate into applications for organic and printed electronics.
The KONFEKT project is planned to run until mid-2018, but it has already produced significant results. Since the previous year, for example, the team was able to significantly enhance the glass edge strength
“Printed electronics is an interesting growth market where ultra-thin special glass can represent the optimal substrate for it,” noted Thomas Wiegel, application engineer for ultra-thin glass at SCHOTT, adding, “which is why we are looking forward to giving visitors at LOPEC and VISION | Flexible Glass an exclusive preview of our research results thus far. We plan to have a close-to-production prototype of glass on roll with us, which tangibly demonstrates where we are at the moment and in which direction we are planning to go forward with it.”
Because it is absolutely critical to avoid any breakage of the ultra-thin glass when rolling or processing it, the consortium partners are currently placing their focus on the optimization of this aspect of their combined research.
Each partner participating in the KONFEKT project brings its unique expertise to the research consortium. SCHOTT provides its expertise in ultra-thin glass. tesa SE, with a long history of providing adhesive tapes on rolls, gives the glass its finish by laminating it with specialty adhesives and functional layers. VON ARDENNE has experience in the development and manufacture of roll-to-roll coating machinery for films and metal strips.