Paterson, NJ (July 28, 2015) . . . What began as a conceptual idea several years ago between a known leader in the glass industry and New Era Converting Machinery, Inc. has today become a complete, clean-room ready turnkey system for conveying and processing flexible glass substrates.
The glass manufacturer originally approached New Era with their ideas and specific challenges; New Era came back to them with the beginnings of what would become a versatile unwinding and conveyance system allowing a wide variety of downstream processing for the flexible glass. After some collaborative fine tuning between the clients engineers and New Era, the final design was engineered to operate with the high degree of precision and repeatability that the client required.
The potential for flexible glass is very exciting. It’s uses in markets such as portable electronics and building products are already well documented, but it seems the potential uses for these high quality, durable products are growing every day. The benefits of flexible glass include optical transmission, surface roughness, thermal stability and moisture/gas barrier properties, all of which are well suited for electronics, both in the manufacturing process and for the devices end use.
Flexible glass can be used in a variety of display types for portable electronics. Whether the display is flat, curved or designed to flex and take on different shapes, the properties described above make glass a natural fit for these products. The potential to fold up a tablet or unroll the screen of a phone opens new doors for the portability of devices which we have come to rely on more and more for all types of information.
The strength-to-weight ratio and moisture resistance of flexible glass gives it distinct advantages for use in building products. The use of flexible glass in photovoltaics can provide solar cells with the durability they need to stand up to the elements, improving longevity and performance, and enabling the innovation of products like solar roof shingles. Its cleanability also makes it well suited for barrier applications for both decorative and functional applications such as backsplashes and whiteboards.
“Our goal has been to create equipment which will enable our clients to add value to flexible glass substrates in much the same way someone would coat or laminate film products,” said Lembo. “This means we could offer continuous web processing of flexible glass in addition to conventional roll-to-sheet type operations. We expect this industry to grow exponentially and are proud to be working with some of the leaders in this technology.”