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What's the matter with making super thin glass in China

The glass is very fragile. We all know if the glass is thinner, is it more fragile. Of course not. According to media reports, China's ultra-thin glass is still very strong? What's the matter? Let's find out with Xiaobian.

Ultra thin glass made in China

Glass can be seen everywhere in daily life, almost every day, but have you ever seen a glass with a thickness of only 0.12mm? What's the concept of 0.12mm? The thickness of an A4 printing paper is 0.095mm, that is to say, this kind of glass is only slightly thicker than a piece of paper. What's more, this kind of glass is still very strong.

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Cao Xin, deputy director of functional glass Research Institute of Bengbu Institute of China Building Materials Group, is taking his team to do the ball drop experiment of ultra-thin glass and test the performance of ultra-thin glass.

Cao Xin put the 55g steel ball at a height of one meter and smashed it into the ultra-thin glass. The impact is equivalent to the impact of a family car hitting the wall at a speed of 150 kilometers per hour, but the glass is intact.

The thin cicada wing glass hit by the steel ball just came off the production line in April 2018. The thickness of the ultra-thin glass is only 0.12mm, which is the thinnest glass mass produced by the floating process in the world.

How thin is the 0.12mm glass? We compared the A4 paper used in office on the spot. The thickness of the two A4 sheets is 0.19mm, which is 0.07mm thicker than the ultra-thin glass.

Cao Xin, deputy director of functional glass Research Institute of Bengbu Institute of China Building Materials Group: in the range of 0.12mm, I believe this is a more amazing achievement in the world.

Ultra thin glass, also known as ultra-thin electronic touch glass, is the core material of the electronic information display industry, which is used to make basic materials for mobile phones, computers and TV screens. The thinner the glass, the better the light transmittance, the better the flexibility and the less the weight. But the glass is too thin and fragile. How to make the glass thin and have enough strength and toughness is a world problem.

It is because of the breakthrough and innovation of Chinese technology that the international market price of ultra-thin glass has been reduced by 2 / 3. However, Cao Xin did not meet the thickness of 0.12 mm. When 0.12mm glass was put off the production line in batches, he was already preparing for the research and development of 0.1mm ultra-thin glass.

At the end of 1950s, Pilkington Glass Company of England announced to the world that the development of glass float forming technology was successful, and many countries were scrambling for patents, but Pilkington was the only one to block China's technology. This situation made the Chinese glass industry at that time realize that we must take a path of independent innovation.

Because of the late start and no experience to learn, there was a certain gap between China's equipment and technology and foreign countries at that time, and it was impossible to make ultra-thin glass with a thickness of less than 1.1mm. The core material of electronic information display is still monopolized by foreign countries. The domestic electronic products producers can not negotiate the price, but they has the final say to supply what kind of materials.

In order not to be constrained by foreign technology, Peng Shou, chief scientist of Bengbu Glass Industrial Design and Research Institute, and his research team, after more than 30 years of exploration, have brought China's ultra-thin glass with independent intellectual property rights onto the world stage.

In June 2014, it exceeded 0.33mm;

In April 2016, it exceeded 0.15mm;

In April 2018, it exceeded 0.12mm.

Made in China has set the world record again and again.

Ren Hongcan, general manager of bengbuzhong building materials information display material Co., Ltd.: the market has changed a circle, and now the downstream has new requirements for products. Now I take a sample piece of market feedback, and I will do an experiment for you.

Ren Hongcan broke the 0.33mm thin glass used to make the mobile screen, which is the product customers ordered with them. From the appearance point of view, the more fine the pattern, the higher the strength of the broken glass. In the same kind of products, such intensity is already high. However, the customer has put forward new requirements for Ren Hongcan, and wants to add another order of magnitude to this intensity.

Although the customer's requirements can be achieved, they can only be achieved by adjusting hundreds of process parameters. After the meeting, Ren Hongcan will have a look at the production line.

Reporters visit the world's thinnest glass production base from laboratory to mass production of Chinese materials

The ambient temperature of the production line is 450 degrees, which Ren Hongcan calls the most unpleasant workshop. However, it is the most headache to observe the melting of the furnace temperature around 1600 degrees.

Whether the performance of glass is superior or not depends on the proportion of raw materials and the chemical changes of raw materials when melting at high temperature. The temperature in the furnace plays an important role, and the temperature difference of plus or minus 2 degrees will affect the performance of glass. Therefore, any red can is most concerned about the temperature changes and the melting situation in the furnace. If there is any deviation, the glass in the whole production line will be discarded, and the loss in a day will be To reach 500000.

The temperature in the furnace is nearly 1600 degrees, which is red. Except for piercing eyes, almost nothing can be seen. In order to see the melting situation inside, Ren Hongcan takes out his observation magic weapon - the mirror.

Ren Hongcan: do you think it's bubbling like making porridge? So when you observe this, you always use a mirror to make small bubbles, which indicates that there is a violent chemical reaction.

Through this small mirror, you can see the melting situation in the furnace, just like the bubbles boiling when cooking porridge. Ren Hongcan pays special attention to the condition of bubbles every time. As customers propose to increase the strength of the glass, Ren Hongcan needs to add a metal element to the raw material for preparing the glass. The melting point of this metal element is higher than that of other raw materials, so special attention should be paid to the melting process. If the bubble is slightly different, the temperature should be adjusted in time.

The secret of producing ultra-thin glass is not only the high temperature furnace, but also the tin bath. The glass solution melted in the furnace flows into the tin bath equipment. Because of the high density of the tin solution, the glass solution can float on the surface of the tin solution. Then the glass is thinned by the edge puller, and finally enters the annealing furnace for annealing.

Furnace, tin bath and annealing are the three most important links in the production of glass by float process. There are many parameters to be adjusted in each link.

Ren Hongcan: this repeated process is very painful. It's a kind of torture for people. Sometimes it's more than ten hours. Then you can't stop staring at the scene.

Adhere to and innovate, so that China's ultra-thin glass in the domestic and international market continues to expand. Before 2014, Ren Hongcan's electronic information display materials had almost no sales in the world. In just four years, its share in the international market has increased to 40%.

Ren Hongcan: our market share now should be in the top three in the world.

From laboratory to industrialization, the most difficult is to adjust the process parameters of the production line. The ultra-thin glass sample made in the laboratory is only 10 cm wide, while the ultra-thin glass produced in industry should be 4 meters wide. This is a great test for the strength and toughness of glass, which requires thousands of times of process parameter adjustment. And each kind of glass with different functions needs to readjust the process parameters. Such a process needs to be continued to ensure the optimal performance of the glass.

Song Zhiping, chairman of China Building Materials Group: in the past, China has been following and running together. Next, we need to lead the way, from made in China to created in China.

It's no wonder that Cao Xin said that the glass, which is as thin as cicada wings, can withstand such a great impact. It is because of these basic materials that China Building Materials Group has built its own glass Kingdom and developed high-end glass substrates for various industries.

Half an hour observation: competition never ends

From scratch, never trust to occupy the market, more and more Chinese manufacturing is winning the favor of the market, which is behind the innovation and perseverance of countless people.

However, the competition in the field of manufacturing has never ended, leading is only temporary, and catching up is normal.

Moreover, there are numerous subdivisions in the manufacturing field, and we are still in the following state in many fields. The continuous pursuit of more perfect products is the goal of China's manufacturing.

We are looking forward to more Chinese enterprises in the future to be in the forefront of the world's manufacturing industry.