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Glass That Bends the Rules of Manufacturing


In 2011, a Corning researcher named Terry Ott faced a problem that nobody else had needed to solve in the company’s 160-year history: how to make sheets of glass that could be rolled onto spools.

The challenge arose because Corning had developed a new kind of glass, known as Willow, which is as thin as a sheet of paper and acts a bit like it, too—if you shake it, it will rattle, and it can bend enough to be spooled. It could be the basis for displays in thinner, lighter cell phones and tablets—or for entirely new products, like displays that fit the curve of your wrist.

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