The demand for ultra thin sheet glass increased substantially over the last 20 years due to the introduction of all kinds of flat panel displays and solar energy applications. TFT-LCD (thin film transistor and liquid crystal displays) glass is found in many applications like computer displays, television screens, mobile phones, pda’s, ebooks and pads. Ultra thin glass is also used as substrate for thin film solar applications as well as in new developed high power automotive batteries and new lighting devices.
All these applications profit from the excellent thin sheet properties of glass like surface flatness, thermal stability, electrical insulation, weather resistance, chemical stability, flexibility, lightweight and outstanding optical properties.
There are several production methods for (ultra) thin glass that had to be improved and adjusted to comply with the demand for increased display sizes. First generation sheet measured 30x40cm, today they are at a size of 1900x2200cm and even bigger, not to mention that those sheet have to be absolute flawless.
Today the market of thin glass sheet is dominated by two production methods: Float and fusion (overflow down draw process).
The float process, invented by Sir Alastair Pilkington in 1950 is well known for the production of commodity flat panel glass for architectural purpose and automotive wind screen and was recently improved in order to comply with the extreme high thin glass quality standards.
The key advantage of the fusion processed glass, invented by Stuart Dockerty and Clint Shay from the company Corning, is its pristine surface, not touched by the molten tin bath.
Both production methods require extremely precise temperature and power control in order to be capable of producing flawless molten glass and forming thin glass sheet to the highest standards. Eurotherm have vast experience in float as well as in down draw overflow glass manufacturing process control and power control. We are capable of proving the biggest multiple zone tin bath heating systems as well as the platinum tubing power control systems.