China makes world’s thinnest phone glass
China has produced the world’s thinnest float glass — the type most often used on cellphone touch screens and similar devices — with improved light transmittance and flexibility.
Produced by the Bengbu Design and Research Institute for Glass Industry in Anhui province, the ultrathin float glass, measuring just 0.12 millimeters thick, or slightly thicker than a sheet of printer paper, has beaten the previous record of 0.15 mm set earlier by the institute.
It also can withstand the impact of a 55-gram steel ball falling from a height of 1 meter. All of this is “a very remarkable achievement worldwide for 0.12 mm glass”, said Cao Xin, deputy director of the institute’s State key laboratory.
Ren Hongcan, a general manager on the production line, said the surface area of the glass may be limited because of its thinness, and developers are working on how to enlarge it.
Ultrathin float glass plays a critical role in making electronic devices lighter and smaller, Ren said.
“The price of China’s touch screens is sure to go down, which will surely benefit the entire electrical device market,” he said.
The Bengbu institute started researching and manufacturing float glass in 2013. It first produced 0.33 mm glass in 2014 and managed to reduce the thickness to 0.15 mm two years later. The 0.12 mm glass has yet to hit the market.
“Once we have the thinnest float glass in the world, all the other devices also need to be developed to match such a thin standard,” Ren said. “But we are ready to launch it whenever there’s need.”
Now, instead of going for thinner glass, the company is working toward better quality and stability.