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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists
Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.
Corning has a proud history of enriching people’s lives through research and technological innovation. For over 150 years, we have developed life-changing innovations including the glass for Edison's light bulb, ultra-thin glass for Active Matrix Liquid Crystal Displays (AMLCDs), the first commercially viable, low-loss fiber for use in telecommunications, and ceramic substrates for diesel and automotive emissions control.
Promoting Cleaner, Healthier Air
As global concern over air pollution intensifies, Corning continues to respond by developing a wide range of products that promote cleaner, healthier air. For almost three decades, Corning has developed creative, highly effective emission control solutions to reduce pollution from mobile and stationary sources around the world.
2004 marks the 30th anniversary of the first application of Corning’s economical, high-performance cellular ceramic substrate that is now the standard for catalytic converters worldwide. Since introducing our advanced ceramic substrates in 1974, more than 500 million vehicles worldwide have used catalytic converters with cellular ceramic substrates, helping to eliminate more than three billion tons of pollutants. A catalyzed Corning substrate, approximately the size of a soft drink can, is capable of providing an effective surface area comparable to the size of a football field.
Our invention has become the industry standard, with more than 95 percent of automobiles using advanced ceramics at the core of their catalytic converter systems. Today, we hold more than 200 patents for emission-control products and processes used in gasoline, diesel and alternative-fuel vehicles, as well as stationary applications.
Our environmental solutions include:
Mobile Emissions Advanced ceramic substrates for automobile, bus and truck catalytic converters Particulate filters for removal of soot from diesel engine vehicle exhaust
Stationary Emissions Cellular ceramic catalyst supports for industrial emissions-control systems
Other Solutions Molten metal filters for the removal of impurities from metal castings Ceramic membrane filters for liquid filtration
New Frontiers Countries around the world are tightening emissions rules for diesel engine and vehicle manufacturers. Virtually all new on-road diesel engines in the U.S., Europe and Japan will need some form of emissions after treatment by 2008, and many existing diesel engines will require retrofits to meet emissions-reduction standards. As global concern about air quality intensifies, we will continue to leverage our process, materials and market understanding to develop emission-control solutions of the future.
The culture of innovation runs deep in Corning. We meld people, processes and financial investment to deliver patentable technologies that revolutionize markets. Our scientists are an outstanding group of experts whose creativity and inspiration continually steer us toward the next great innovation.
Ceramic Substrates for Catalytic Converters: The Inventors
Dr. Rodney D. Bagley, Dr. Irwin Lachman and Ronald M. Lewis, inventors of ceramic substrate for the catalytic converter 2002: Inducted to National Inventor’s Hall of Fame
While at Corning, Bagley, Lachman and Lewis led efforts to develop the technology for the world's first significant pollution control for automobiles. Bagley worked on the extrusion-die design and process for the ceramic substrate, while Lachman, a ceramic engineer, and Lewis, a mineralogist, worked to create an ideal, synthetic composition —cordierite—a material that met requirements for low expansion, tolerance to severe thermal shock, strength, back pressure and other stresses.
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