Revolutionary glass fusion technique makes possible the full suite of high performance flat glasses
Corning was the first manufacturer in the world to form specialty glass suspended in mid-air. It's the hallmark feature of the proprietary "fusion" process, a big key to Corning's innovation success over the past two decades.
Here's a quick breakdown on how the process works and why it's so important for Corning.
Raw materials – pure sand combined with other inorganic materials – flow into a large melting tank heated to temperatures well above 1,000 degrees Celsius. The molten glass is homogenized and conditioned before it is released into a large collection trough with a V-shaped bottom, known as an isopipe. The isopipe is carefully heated to manage the viscosity of the mixture and ensure uniform flow.
Molten glass flows evenly over the top edges of the isopipe, forming two thin, sheet-like streams along the outer surfaces. The two sheets meet at the V-shaped bottom point of the isopipe and fuse into a single sheet.
The sheet, still attached to the bottom of the isopipe, then feeds into drawing equipment as it lengthens and begins to cool in midair. Precise control of fusion process conditions impact key product attributes like glass thickness– which could be as thick as one or more millimeters in the case of Corning? Gorilla? Glass 4, or as thin as 100 microns with Corning? Willow? Glass.