Bending Glass

© Fraunhofer IWM, Photo: Kai-Uwe Wudtke

We develop solutions for the representation of complex forms made of flat glass products. With Fraunhofer IWM's technology, unmatched small bending radii can be realized within tight tolerances, and flat partial surfaces retain the very good surface quality of the flat glass product, allowing for contours made of glass to be created with very high precision.

New manufacturing processes and demands from designers and users alike have led to the increasing utilization of specially shaped glass parts. Until now, 3D forming of glass components has either been technically impossible or has led to (optical) blemishes on the glass surface. Although components can be formed by using molds, only relatively large radii can be realized this way. Investments in costly tools are only worthwhile for large quantities. At Fraunhofer IWM, flat glass bending addresses precisely this point by being able to bend glass three-dimensionally in tight radii quickly and without the need for costly mold construction.

Services | Expertise

© Fraunhofer IWM, Photo: Kai-Uwe Wudtke
  • Bending process
  • Localized temperature control
  • Characterization of the bending contour
  • Characterization of the residual stress in bent components
  • Process simulation for bending technologies
  • Machine learning during process development
  • Prototyping complexly bent glass components

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Application examples

  • All-glass corners and distinctive lines for architecture, automotive, appliance covers, white products
  • Bent parts with optical (e.g. imaging) function, parabolic mirrors, light-directing elements, ...

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Facilities | Measurement capabilities

  • Bending oven with transfer system, local heating systems and flexible mold
  • Contact-free temperature measurement using a pyrometer and thermal camera
  • 3D-scanner
  • glass cutting and edge processing

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  • Rist, T.; Gremmelspacher, M.; Baab, A.; Innovative glass bending technology for manufacturing expressive shaped glasses with sharp curves; All Eyes on Smarter Glass, Glass Performance Days 2019, GPD Conference Proceedings, Complex Geometry & Curved Glass; Vitkala, J. (Ed.); Glaston Finland Oy, Tampere, Finland (2019) 34-35 Link
  • Rist, T.; Gremmelspacher, M.; Baab, A.; Feasibility of bent glasses with small bending radii, ce/papers 2/5-6 (2018) 183-189 Link
  • Rist, T.; Gremmelspacher, M.; Baab, A.; Feasibility of bent glasses with small bending radii; Engineered Transparency 2018; Glass in Architecture and Structural Engineering; Schneider, J.; Weller, B. (Eds.); Wilhelm Ernst & Sohn, Berlin (2018) 235-241 Link

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