Gorilla Glass to have beefed-up protection for phones to survive oh-no drops

July 20, 2018 by Nancy Owano, Phys.org
Credit: Corning

The world's most advanced glass available for smartphones and tablets: that is the way that Corning Gorilla Glass 6 was described by its makers at an event this week.

Corning announced Corning Gorilla Glass 6 with an emphasis that "drop" outcomes are not deal breakers, with improvements made for mobile devices.

While it is the announcement itself that has arrived, the is expected to reach the market in the next several months.

Presently, the company stated, Corning Gorilla Glass 6 is being evaluated "by multiple customers."

The company has enjoyed the presence of a key product, riding on a branding as a business with an enviable understanding of material science and process development. Corning Gorilla Glass was launched in September 2007, and has worked with glass compositions and related innovations at research facilities.

Gorilla 6 is promoted as bringing better protection against the dreaded "drops." It's promoted as the most durable to date. The story goes that the more we use our phones the greater the chance they will drop, and we can benefit if the glass has the kind of durability that can avert damage—less nightmares of one-and-done.

Corning feels it has had to keep on innovating to meet consumer needs, as people drop their phones seven times a year with more than 50 percent of the drops occurring at 1 meter or below.

The material was engineered to survive multiple drops; Corning's scientists worked out a new glass composition that can be chemically strengthened to give it higher levels of compression after dropping phones on to rough surfaces again and again.

Chemically strengthened? David Nield in New Atlas shared some comments about this "chemical strengthening"; the process involves ion exchange, "where large ions get packed tightly into the glass surface at extreme temperatures – that's how the compression happens when the glass cools back down."

In testing, soda lime and aluminosilicate, and these are glass compositions, did not do as well; Gorilla Glass 6 survived 15 drops from 1 meter onto .

In the company release, Scott Forester, part of the Corning Gorilla Glass team, added that the glass was made to accommodate the modern designs that use glass for more than 85 percent of the enclosure.

The presence, or rather omnipresence, of Corning's glass is quite clear in numbers; the company reported that there are 6 billion items in the world today that have Corning glass. The company's leadership ini this area is not lost on analysts.

Credit: Corning

Wendy Lee in the San Francisco Chronicle on Wednesday: "Tim Bajarin, president of analyst firm Creative Strategies, said he wasn't surprised after watching the demonstration."

She said Corning has led in glass for high-end and midrange smartphones. "The company designed the glass for the first iPhone in 2007, and has supplied Apple's phones ever since. It's now on 6 billion devices worldwide." She quoted Bajarin, who said, "In terms of their numbers, no one is touching them."

More information: www.corning.com/gorillaglass/w … gorilla-glass-6.html

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