In building, industrial design, and medical technology, the ability to bend glass sheets into angular corners without causing damage to the sheet or impairing the optical properties is appealing. Scientists have been working on a laser-based method to bend glass for some time, and they recently revealed their most recent project accomplishments.
Lasers provide the opportunity to curve glass sheets into clean-edged, 90-degree bends with narrow curvatures, which are challenging for traditional glass bending methods. Traditional techniques also degrade the glass’s visual qualities, eliminating several potential applications.
However, using lasers to complete the job is a challenging proposition. Sharply angled geometries may be made possible by concentrating a laser beam onto a tiny area. Still, material thickness and thermal expansion coefficients must be taken into consideration. Another factor is the mechanical forces produced by the forming process.
According to previous research, the glass-bending process involved shining a laser beam onto glass heated to just below the melting point—roughly 500 degrees Celsius—in a specialized kiln. The laser needs to heat the relevant area of the glass by just a few more degrees for it to hit the glass transition temperature and become formable under the influence of gravity since only the area of the glass where the actual bending is to take place has been heated to that point rather than the entire sheet.
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