The focus is on precision edges

Conventional methods of cutting flat glass involve first using a diamond or small metal wheel to scribe a line along which the glass will be broken. This can cause tiny splinters or irregularities that in turn can lead to microcracks and ultimately to a higher risk of breakage.

In the past the edges of the glass were mainly melted or steamed using carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers, a process that is, however, only possible with certain types of glass.

In contrast, with SCHOTT AP’s new technology the CO2 laser beam only serves to heat up the glass material along a precisely drawn line. A stream of cold compressed air applied immediately afterwards generates such extremes of tension in the glass that it snaps to give a smooth edge. The specific temperature profile between the arms of the laser beam’s focal point, brought optically into a V-shape, enables the scribing to be controlled precisely. The resultant edges show no microcracks and the material is twice as break-resistant as a glass pane separated conventionally.