Though largely uncredited, Corning’s Gorilla Glass has been a key ingredient in smartphones since the first iPhone. Now, with continuous technology evolution, folding phones use flexible plastic…but not forever. Corning is working on a flexible glass option for folding smartphones — a development process that could take a couple of years, reported VentureBeat.
Over the years, the partnership between Apple and Corning yielded a series of scratch- and oil-resistant glass panes that could be made harder, thinner, more flexible, or shatter-proof — except not all at the same time.
According to VentureBeat, Corning is now trying to create an ultrathin, highly and repeatedly bendable glass suitable for folding devices. Unlike plastic, which will eventually develop permanent and visibly distorted creases in its folding zones, the glass will remain in its original shape. Additionally, the color transmissibility and scratch resistance of glass is visibly superior to plastic, according to the account.
The major challenge now is to simultaneously get the glass to a tight bend radius while enabling it to withstand drops — Corning says it can do one or the other at this point, but not both. For now, the glass can bend to a 3-5mm radius around 200,000 times, but not survive a serious drop. The inability to survive a drop would be a non-starter for smartphones and tablets, especially premium-priced products, reported VentureBeat.
Corning aspires to create a 0.1mm thick glass that can bend to a 5mm radius without breaking. Comments? Email Us.
March 8, 2019