A sneak peek experience of how Corning Gorilla Glass is made

Corning Incorporated is a global company which has its specialization in glass, ceramics, optical fibres and other related materials were founded in the year 1851. Then it was called Corning Glass Works was founded by Amory Houghton in Somerville, MA and was originally called Bay State Glass Co. Subsequently, it moved to Brooklyn, NY where the company operated as Brooklyn Flint Glass Works, and finally in the year 1868 under the leadership of Amory Houghton, Jr son of Amory Houghton the company finally moved to the city of Corning, New York which made this city as its home and has been renamed as Corning Glass Works where it held the title till the year 1989. Renamed as Corning Incorporated since the year 1989 this brand operates globally with 3 major business segments such as Telecommunications, Advanced Materials, and Information Display.

Macrotraveller was invited to visit the Corning Incorporated headquarters and the Corning Gorilla Glass lab in New York, United States of America. On my first visit to Corning Incorporated, I visited their locations in New York. Corning has 3 locations in New York where you can visit the below-mentioned locations.

Corning Museum of Glass located in Corning, NY where you can visit the museum to explore the world’s collection of Glass and has glasses prepared for over 3500 years old. They also have live glassblowing demonstrations, daily make your own glass experience, state of an art museum and school The Studio is present here where you can take classes daily, weekly or two-month courses offered here at The Studio. The museum is located at Finger Lakes Wine Country of New York and is one of premier museum and study center in the art of glass.  The museum is open daily and children under the age of 17 have free admission.

Sullivan Park Science & Technology Center:

Located in Corning, New York which was set up in the year 1908. The center is a premier Research and Development laboratory dedicated to Dr Eugene Sullivan who was Corning’s first research director.  The R&D Center is over 2 million square feet in area and is a part of Sullivan Park. Here many small research laboratories are located which are part of global laboratories. Other laboratories are located in Asia and Europe.  This location was one of the company’s primary locations for an early stage of Research and Development where they produce several prototypes and test production.

Product Performance and Reliability Lab, Corning: this lab concentrates on enabling Corning Science and technology organization to develop enhanced products with best in class testing/metrology methods. Fundamental understanding arising from field/consumer use is used to improve product performance/ reliability and to generate product technical value proposition.

We had a brief interview with Corning Incorporated executives

1) John Bayne:  who is currently Senior Vice President and General Manager of Corning Speciality Material. John Bayne was appointed as Senior Vice President in November 2018 and is responsible for strategic, operational, and financial elements of the business. Bayne assumed responsibility for the Gorilla Glass business as vice President and General Manager in October 2015. Before this, John has been a vice president and general manager for High-Performance Display (HPD) in 2012.  Mr Bayne has been a part of Corning Incorporated since 1995 where he worked as the Fallbrook Plant Controller, later as International Business Controller and was one of a member who led QLED programme for Display Technologies.  He has been an important part of Corning Incorporated and speaking with him, we got to learn what is in for Corning in future.

2) Scott Forester: Former US Navy soldier, Scott Forester currently serves as Division Vice President for Marketing & Innovation Products for Corning Glass and Speciality Materials. He was appointed for this position in April 2017 and is responsible to lead Corning Glass Product Line Management, commercial operations and branding.  Mr Forester joined Corning Incorporated in June 1997 and worked as Applications Engineer for Telecommunications Products Division. After this, he held several other roles in management, sales, global product line, commercial strategy etc. In 2011, he served as corporate executive staff for Corning Speciality materials.

3) Josh Jacobs: Currently serving as a Technology Manager, product performance and reliability with Speciality Materials, Josh Jacobs has been a part of Corning since 1998 where he began as a process reliability engineer in Photonic Technology organization. He also supported for Optical Fiber Organization before joining Speciality Materials Development. In the current role, Mr Jacobs and his team focus on product reliability and qualification testing, as well as value proposition development and the deployment of measurements and methods for testing the performance of Gorilla Glass.

Once we spoke with these eminent personalities who have been part of Corning Incorporated for long, we has the tour of the Corning gorilla glass labs facility where all the testings for Corning Gorilla Glass is done

Corning Gorilla Glass is a revolutionary material which is chemically strengthened glass manufactured by Corning which is designed to be thin, sturdy, scratch-resistant and damage resistant.  The glass is alkali-aluminosilicate material which is primarily used in electronic devices such as Mobile Phones, Portable Computers, and Television Screens etc. The glass was developed as a project called Project Muscle back in 1960. In the 1990’s it was used in various automotive, aviation and pharmaceutical uses. In 2005, when Apple Inc. asked Corning to manufacture glass material which is thin and can be used for consumer electronics.

Since then Corning has released various versions of glass and currently Corning Gorilla Glass 6. All these versions undergo vigorous tests before being released to the public that includes:

  • Fractography: This includes the study of glass in case of fracture of surface materials. By this method, the Corning team can determine the root cause of failure which enables a key role to develop multiple generations of products.
  • Strength, damage resistance and retained strength: This includes further tests such as
  •   Ball Drop: – This method is used for assessing the surface strength of materials when placed under flexural (bending). Many other methods can be employed to determine the damage resistance and retained strength of the glass.
  • Three-point bend: This includes assessing the edge strength of materials when placed under flexural (bending). Alternate methods may be employed to characterize the edge damage resistance and retained strength of the glass.
  • Drop Performance
  • ‘Slapper Demo’ includes simulating a drop on a severe rough surface at various altitudes. Here the presenter will explain that glass breaks because of (1) the introduction of ‘sharp contact’ damage during the impact event and (2) sufficient stress acting on this damage (via flexure when the device hits the ground).
  • Drop Tower This demo includes a drop of a 3D mock device made of Corning Gorilla Glass from a height of 1m at an angle of 45degrees on a rough surface.
  • Reflection and Scratch Comparison
    • Reflection and Scratch Comparison
  • Each material will be shown how anti-reflection capability and scratch durability works on every Corning Gorilla Glass made. This sample shown here includes Scratch and Reflective Frames, a 3D mock device containing Tuneable Gorilla Glass DX+ which is highly reflective, multiple colour offering and an active display
  • Glass Innovation
    • Glass Innovation
  • Vibrant Corning® Gorilla® Glass: uses Corning’s proprietary process, ink and equipment – printing a colourful customized design for smartphones, tablets or notebooks on Corning Gorilla Glass, including gradient colours and logos, photo-quality images and multi-colour decorations.
  • We were given a first hand experience of how Corning Gorilla Glass is made and tested in lab before its manufactured on mobile devices and explained to us how the product has been developing since its inception. 


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