The life expectancy of LCD screens is limited, among other factors, by the fact that the backlights a type of miniaturized neon tube that makes the image on the display visible emit ultraviolet (UV) radiation.This UV radiation damages vital plastic components inside the screen.
This is why SCHOTT-Rohrglas has developed the two new glass types 8688 (tungsten-based) and 8271 (kovar), both of which are characterized by a special UV screening effect to protect the plastic components from premature aging.
The demands made on the life expectancy of components are particularly on the rise due to the development of large-format LCD flat screens, which are increasingly replacing traditional cathode ray TVs. As opposed to current applications, such as in laptops or cell phones, TV sets are replaced far more rarely.
The UV radiation responsible for the damage to the plastic components occurs in the invisible wavelength range between 254 and 313 nm. The two new glass types are the first to allow for an effective UV filter to be incorporated in the glass structure itself exactly within this frequency range, such that no complex coating is necessary at a later stage.
"With these backlights, SCHOTT-Rohrglas has opened up a new business area for the future", explains Andreas Reisse, Head of the Business Segment Tubing at SCHOTT-Rohrglas in Mitterteich, Germany. "Our main advantage is that there is currently no competitor anywhere in the world who can produce this UV screening glass", continues Mr. Reisse.
Already one of the world's leading manufacturers of special glass tubes, SCHOTT-Rohrglas plans to triple its sales of backlight glass over the next two years a realistic aim, considering the rapid growth in the market for flat LCD screens.