Corning, Inc - World’s Leading Innovators in Materials Science

Posted on December 3, 2014 linda strong optical components

Headquartered in Corning, New York, Corning, Inc. is a premier innovator in the materials science field-specializing in the production of specialty glass, ceramics, and optical fibers. Founded in 1851, the company was known as Corning Glass Works up till 1989. Corning, Inc. operates five business segments: Display Technologies (which possesses over 900 patents), Optical Communications (over 2,400 patents), Environmental Technologies (over 500 patents), Specialty Materials (600 patents), and Life Sciences (over 800 patents).

Corning’s Aerospace and Defense division falls under the Specialty Materials business segment, and operates out of Keene, New Hampshire. Corning produces missile domes, radomes, and telescope mirror blanks for astronomy applications in the Canton, New York facility.

Corning’s portfolio of Aerospace and Defense products includes:

  • Custom Optical Components
  • EOIR (Electro-Optical Infrared) Systems
  • Hyperspectral Imaging
  • Opto-Mechanical Assemblies
  • Telescope Mirror and Lens Blanks
  • Diamond Turned Optics
  • Missile Domes and Radomes

For use in missile radomes, Corning produces a patented material dubbed Corning Pyrocream. Current and future tactical missile systems place extreme demands on the radome system. These systems regularly see temperatures exceeding 1370 degrees Celsius with high mechanical and aero-thermal loading. Corning Pyrocream is an opaque, light gray, glass-ceramic material engineered to possess high strength, high elastic modulus, and uniform dielectric properties. It can machined into ogival (pointed arch) shapes, pressware sheets, and other shapes as needed. Though most famous for its Corning Ware cookware applications, Pyrocream is also ideal for use in tactical missile nosecones, antenna windows, solid wave guides, and hydrospace systems.

For a diffraction-free surface finish, Corning’s NetOptix combines innovative diamond turning technology with never-before-seen processing methods to produce diamond-machined mirrors that are lightweight, thermally stable, and highly accurate for use in visible, ultraviolet, and multispectral aerospace sensing applications.

In 2002, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded Corning, Inc. a USD$10.4 million technology investment agreement to design and produce high-power fiber lasers.

Just this summer, NASA tapped Corning for the delivery of custom optical components for use in the OSIRIS-REx mission, the third mission in NASA’s New Frontiers Program which explores near-Earth asteroids. Corning has a long-standing work history with the federal agency, having produced mirrors for the Hubble, Gemini, and Subaru telescopes. Corning supplied the windows for many NASA missions including the John Glenn-piloted Friendship 7, the first US manned orbital flight. Corning also manufactured the window glass for all of NASA’s manned spacecraft missions and the International Space Station. Furthermore, the James Webb Space Telescope and the New Horizons Mission are equipped with Corning’s customized opto-mechanical technologies.

For the fiscal year 2013, Corning, Inc. employed a 31,000-strong workforce and reported USD$7.819 billion in net sales.

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