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LG rolls out cheaper production processes for 'rollable' flexible displays

LG has been making an impression with its flexible displays and now the company is set to roll out new processes and materials to make them cheaper to produce.

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Photo by LG

LG's flexible displays -- including a rumoured model that can be rolled into a scroll -- are soon set to be cheaper, with LG Display to change up production processes and materials used to create the screens, researchers at the company said.

During a presentation at the 2014 International Workshop on Flexible & Printable Electronics in Jeonju, Korea, Kim Kyung-min, a researcher at LG Display's R&D center, said the company plans to use copper materials and what it called "roll-to-roll" technology to lower costs in manufacturing flexible display panels.

Panels constructed with the "roll-to-roll" printing method pass through two "rolls" during production, making it possible for LG to produce screens that are more flexible than previous iterations, the researcher said. The method also helps reduce production costs, which will in turn lower the costs of the panels to make them more attractive to clients.

As part of the new process, LG said it will replace the current aluminium wires it uses in the displays with copper, which will lower costs, increase resolution and emit no substances hazardous to humans and the environment. That last point had previously been a concern, as some chemical properties of copper had in past prevented the technology from being applied.

"Based on the equipment that LG Display already possesses, we have already finished preparation to use [roll-to-roll] technology (in production)," said Kim.

Meanwhile, according to company insiders, LG already possesses the technology to produce display panels that roll into a shape of a scroll -- though when this will be commercialized is as yet unknown. The company will adopt this technology in making mostly tablets, the insiders said.

Earlier this year, LG showed off an 18-inch flexible OLED panel with more flexibility than any other tablet in its size.


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