(PhysOrg.com) -- Asahi Glass Co. (AGC), a Tokyo-based makers of flat glass, automotive glass, display glass, chemicals and other high-tech materials and components, has announced the creation of a the world's thinnest soda-lime glass substrate for touchscreens. The glass, which could lighten the weight on a variety of mobile devices, is measuring in at just 0.28 mm. This is 15% thinner than the current thinnest commercially available substrate, which is 0.33 mm. As you may expect, the glass is also 15% lighter, which is good news for anyone carrying around a smartphone or tablet PC.
Soda-lime glass was chosen for the substrate materials for several reasons. The composition allows it to it maintains its form when subjected to heat, which is always an issues for mobile device. Soda-lime also resists discoloring when exposed to ultraviolet radiation and it is able to accept chemical strengthening without causing any deformation or loss of clarity. All of these things would be very good news for manufacturers in the ever growing smartphone market, who have to deal with more daily wear and tear than computer and laptop screen makers.
AGC is expected to start the mass production of this lighter glass, using the float process, later in this month. For those of you who are not familiar with it, the float process is a glass-manufacturing method in which glass is floated over molten metal in order to make a highly uniform glass. With the added revenue from this new glass AGC expects its annual sales to exceed 10 billion Yen, or 120 million USD, by the year 2013.
Anyone who is interested in seeing AGC's soda-lime glass substrate first hand will be able to do so at Display Week 2011 of the Society for Information Display (SID) in Los Angeles, California, on May 15, where the glass will be making an appearance.
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More information: AGC press release