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Corning touts anti-bacterial glass technology

Post Time:Mar 05,2012Classify:Company NewsView:330

In some cases, Corning Inc. is not the inventor of its most successful products.


That has been true for much of the company's history, with products ranging from railroad signal lenses to flat-panel glass for liquid crystal displays.


Corning's genius has been in refining, adapting and improving products already on the market and in finding ways to produce them more efficiently.


That's what the Twin Tiers' largest employer hopes to do with one of its newest projects -- glass that kills bacteria and viruses that come into contact with it.


Although it sounds like something from a science fiction film, anti-bacterial glass already exists.


One version, made by Brussels-based AGC Glass Europe, kills 99 percent of the bacteria that come in contact with it for at least five seconds, the manufacturer claims.


AGC's product, which uses glass treated with silver to create its anti-bacterial properties, is aimed at customers in health care settings such as hospitals, nursing homes and dental practices.


It is also promoted for use in sports arenas and recreation centers, where high humidity can promote bacterial growth, as well as in school cafeterias and restaurant kitchens.


Beneq Oy, a company based in Vantaa, Finland, filed a patent application last month for a silver-coated glass with anti-bacterial properties.


At Massachusetts Institute of Technology, research has been done on coatings designed to kill bacteria and viruses on glass slides.


Corning Inc. has not publicly described the technology that its anti-bacterial and anti-viral glass will utilize, but Corning Chairman and President Wendell P. Weeks has talked enthusiastically about the potential of the new glass.


With the expansion of health care facilities expected to occur as the Baby Boomer generation ages, the market for such a glass could grow for decades.


It will probably be years before Corning Inc. knows whether its anti-bacterial and anti-viral glass will be a market success.


It could turn out to be another hot seller like liquid crystal display glass or Gorilla Glass, the company's cover glass for televisions, smartphones and tablet computers.


On the other hand, it could follow in the footsteps of Corning Inc.'s 1960s automobile windshield glass, which failed to sell despite its demonstrable superiority to the other products on the market.

Source: www.stargazette.comAuthor: shangyi

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