Let me remind you that the aluminosilicate glass under the Gorilla Glass brand debuted in 2007 as an integral part of the iconic iPhone of the first generation.
This event was preceded by a long history of creating this constructional material, the beginning of which was laid by a research project called “Project Muscle”, which began in 1959.
Since then, the company’s engineers are working to make the glass thinner, while maintaining or even improving its overall strength and scratch resistance.
I note that at the time of the release of the first iPhone, Corning’s share as a supplier of components in the market of components for the production of consumer electronics was no more than 10%, and now it is 80%. According to the company’s representatives, since 2007, more than 4.5 billion gadgets have been produced, equipped with a protective glass Gorilla Glass.
In our time, such large consumer electronics manufacturers as Apple, Samsung, HTC, Lenovo, Huawei, LG, HP, Motorola, and Asus are regular customers of Corning.
Corning Gorilla Glass 5
Corning introduced the 5th generation of Gorilla Glass, a chemically reinforced coating designed to protect the screen of mobile devices. According to the developer, the new impact-resistant glass will not crack in 80% of cases – even if the smartphone falls “face” down on the tile, asphalt or concrete floor from a height of 1.6 meters.
For comparison, Gorilla Glass of the 4th generation, released two years ago, on stress tests also “survived” in 80% of cases, but it was thrown from a lower height – 1 meter.
In Corning, the retention of the gadget at the shoulder height “height of the SELF” was called. As the company’s internal research showed, 85% of users dropped their smartphones at least once last year, with two-thirds falling from the height from the pelvis to the shoulder.
In addition, Corning managed to reduce the thickness of the glass to 0.6 millimeters. The company will also begin to provide Gorilla Glass 5 sheets with a thickness of 0.4 mm to electronics manufacturers.
Corning is the market leader in protective glass. Its Gorilla Glass, reinforced by chemical treatment, serves to protect displays of all types of devices – smartphones, tablets, laptops and other products.
The manufacturer cooperates with 33 major brands, including Apple, Acer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, HTC, LG, Samsung, Motorola. Gorilla Glass protects against impacts of such products as iPhone 6/6 Plus, as well as Galaxy Note 4 and Edge.
New strength Gorilla Glass 5
Glass for the screens of mobile devices Gorilla Glass is known for its durability, so it is used by a huge number of phone manufacturers – in fact, according to Corning, Gorilla Glass is used by all major device manufacturers at the moment, even if they do not disclose this information.
The new coating of Gorilla Glass 5 from previous versions of glasses is distinguished by the fact that they have been tested and are able to survive everyday loads. While Gorilla Glass 4 was tested on a 1-meter (3.3-foot) drop, Corning found that most of the devices that cover this require a little more actual protection. That’s why the company wanted to develop a glass that can withstand a fall from a height of 1.6 meters – so if you dropped the device while walking, it will still be able to survive such a fall. In fact, according to Corning, two-thirds of the falls happen from the height of the waist level or higher, which makes it important to have a glass on the device ready to withstand such falls.
Of course, the goal is not only to make the glass stronger – but also to make it thinner. The thickness of Gorilla Glass varies from about 0.3 to 1 mm, but Corning says they tested new glasses with a thickness in the range of 0.1 to 0.2 mm, which ultimately helps make the phones thinner and maintain the same strength, like the previous iteration of Gorilla Glass or even make it stronger.
Unfortunately, Gorilla Glass 5 is not available yet for all devices, but Corning says that manufacturers will start announcing the release of devices with a new coating in the next few months and that these devices with new glasses will go on sale before the end of 2016.
Became more resistant to shock and mechanical stress
“Glassblowers” from Corning presented a novelty – an improved version of their manufacturer’s aluminosilicate glass Gorilla Glass, resistant to shock and mechanical stress.
This fragile-looking material has long been used in its gadgets by many well-known electronics manufacturers ever since perfectionist Steve Jobs decided that scratches on the plastic surface of the smartphone’s screen are completely unaesthetic.
According to the developers, the new product of glass engineering, which they called Gorilla Glass 5, differs from the predecessor presented by a couple of years ago with greater wear resistance, and twice more “holds a blow” when falling from a certain height to hard and, most notably, ” uneven surfaces. ”
So, Gorilla Glass 5 “survives” in 80% of cases when “stalling in a tailspin” from a 1.5-meter height. In general, this is the level of the shoulders of the average person.
Why did they take the figure of 1.5 meters for the standard, and not higher or lower? The fact is that according to a study conducted by Corning in 2015, 85% of users at least at least unzipped the smartphone to the floor.
Also, experts from Corning found that two-thirds of such falls occurred from the height at the waist or shoulder level. As for me, this is quite obvious without carrying out large-scale sociological research.
So, Gorilla Glass 4 glass is strong enough to adequately “resist” keys and coins in your pocket, as well as to minor impact, dynamic impacts or static bending, but weakly “holds” a strong impact when falling from a height of more than one meter.
And smartphones, the screens of which are covered with aluminosilicate glass “Gorilla” of the fourth generation, do not like to fall on uneven surfaces.
It follows that Corning engineers in their work to create a new product focused on finding solutions that would improve the stability of the glass to strong impact effects.
And what, did they manage to achieve the specified characteristics? Yes, they did it! However, as is always the case, “the devil lies in the details”: firstly, the “survival rate” of the Gorilla in 80% of cases when falling from a 1.5-meter height was achieved in tests using glass with a thickness of 0.6 mm, while electronics manufacturers most often resort to the use of a 0.4-mm protective glass; Secondly, during the presentation, “Corning” showed the test results, during which the weighty smartphone simulator equipped with a new glass, fell down the screen, and not, for example, a sidewall on the corner or on the edge, which, believe me, is much more dangerous for the screen integrity, than falling from height with a landing flat.
In short, everything is not so unambiguous, when the electronics designers for various reasons resort to the use of hardy but thinner material, and the marketers of the supplier of components test new construction material in conditions of narrow frames for specified loads.
In addition, it turns out that I’m not one such skeptic about the characteristics of the new material. So, during the presentation of the novelty, one of the journalists asked John Bayne – vice president and part-time CEO of Corning, as the above factors affect the “vitality” of Gorilla Glass 5, which he responded to : “The stability of the protective glass to the impacts directly depends on the dimensions and stiffness of the smartphone’s case”.
Also, the vice president added: “The rigidity of the design of the smartphone as a whole is the determining factor of how the gadget will transfer the fall sideways to an angle or a flat surface. Also important is how deep the glass is “drowned” in the case of the device or vice versa – how much it protrudes relative to the main frontal plane. So, if your smartphone is beautiful, it does not mean that it is protected. Remember this when choosing a device! “.
And on top of everything, he summed up: “The wear resistance and impact resistance of the protective sex is a complex property, which largely depends on the structural features of the gadget. If possible, we actively cooperate with electronics manufacturers throughout the design process of the mobile device to ensure the best result, but not all companies are so open to cooperation because commercial secrets are a trade secret. ”
What conclusion can we draw from these words? It is true, for the time being, aluminosilicate glass, even the most perfect one for today, is glass, not steel.
What else can I say? Believe me, do not rely on the fact that Gorilla Glass 5 will not crack, if the phone to a solid surface to fly as much as 1.5 – 2 meters!
At the moment, Gorilla Glass 5 is at the stage of introduction into production, so, quite possibly, we will soon hear about its application by the leading electronics manufacturers in its serial products.