Spider-Man tells the story of the orphan Peter Parker who is raised by his aunt and uncle in New York City. After the bite of a radioactive spider, he develops special abilities: Suddenly, he can shoot spider webs from his wrists, hold on to smooth surfaces and use his “spider sense” to spot dangers. At this point you might be wondering: What does this have to do with SCHOTT?
To answer this question, we take a trip to the headquarters of SCHOTT Lighting and Imaging in Mainz, Germany. Here, glass rods are heated to several hundred degrees to create optical fibers. This is a complex process because the rods consist of a cladding tube and a core made of different types of glass. The speed at which the rods are drawn determines how thin the fibers become.
When people think of fiber optics, they often think of the fibers used to transfer laser light in telecommunications. But the same capabilities that ensure a signal can be transported for miles can also bring light and images around a corner, into a confined space or into a hot, dark or difficult to reach place. That is why glass fibers play an important role in the transmission of light and images. These fibers have much in common with Peter Parker’s cobwebs.