Corning Gorilla Glass 4 Promises Twice the Toughness Than Competitive Glasses
No sound is worse than the sound of your smartphone’s screen breaking into pieces. I have had this experience with my Nexus 5, and I know how it feels like when you pick your phone up from the ground and see a broken screen. Corning is the company that aims to protect us from having such experiences.
They developed Gorilla Glass, which was adopted by many smartphone manufacturers including Samsung, HTC, LG and Microsoft. It is found in almost all flagship mobile devices.
Corning has announced the latest version of its cover glass — Gorilla Glass 4. The company claims it has significantly improved (up to 2 times) the strength of the glass this time, but also admits that there is still much room left for the improvement.
Every year, Corning adds more durability to its glasses. Last year’s model made its glass “native damage resistant,” which made smartphones endure rough contact with keys in pockets.
But no matter how much durable the glass is, it is still a glass and its biggest threat is drops. Corning has focused on drops in its Gorilla Glass 4.
Corning researchers examined hundreds of broken smartphones to better understand the reasons behind the shattering of screens. Their findings come as no surprise that most of the smartphones break when they make contact with high momentum rough and hard surfaces, like concrete.
They went on to perform drop tests in a simulated environment. They used 180-grit sandpaper and dropped Gorilla Glass 4 and other competitive glasses from a height of 1 meter to compare the durability of their latest cover glass. Gorilla Glass 4 survived up to 80 per cent of the time, and was found to be up to two times tougher than Gorilla Glass 3.
Although 80 percent survival rate is a significant improvement, but still it is breakable and may ruin your pricy smartphone.
“I won’t say we’ve wiped it out, but we’ve taken a real large chunk out of it,” said Cliff Hund, president of Corning East Asia.
Hund also said that increased strength doesn’t come with a tradeoff, which means that there are no downsides in the glass’ clarity or display.
Sapphires are an alternative to glass but they have their own problems. First, the production of sapphires at massive scale for millions of smartphone units is not feasible. Secondly, it is not as durable as glass. The only advantage that sapphire has over glass is visible scratch resistance. It has much less visible scratches as compared to glass.
“When you line up all the things that consumers are interested in, the Gorilla exceeds in more of them than any other material at this point in time,” Hund said.
Corning admits that its Gorilla Glass 4 is still breakable. But with the increased strength, next year’s smartphones will surely be stronger than current ones.