Scaling thin glass use to the architectural world

Ultra-thin glass is known to be widely used as display for smartphones. Typically, it is aluminosilicate glass, which is chemically tempered to increase its strength and to improve its scratch resistance. The properties of this glass (strength, flexibility, lightweight) suggest it could be suitable for challenging and unprecedented larger scale applications, although its high cost has been a limiting factor so far. A new glass composition, tailored for ultra-thin glass to be produced using the common float process was developed by AGC under the commercial name of Falcon™. Its chemical composition make so that the ion exchange is significantly more effective than for soda-lime-silica-glass, whilst its float production keeps the price balanced for large scale application. The glass was extensively tested in order to assess its properties (edge and surface strength) and its processing potential (grinding, chemical tempering, lamination, cold bending). This paper describes in detail the test performed, the respective results and presents a number of prototypes using Falcon™. The purpose of the paper is to provide technical data and processing capabilities of Falcon™ with the purpose of enabling designers to push the limits of transparency and shapes with ultra-thin glass.