History Corning Gorilla Glass
The American company Corning Incorporated is engaged in the production of glass. It was founded in the distant 1851 and deals not only with the development of protective glass. The company can be found in a variety of market segments, for example, in optical communications, natural sciences, environmental technologies and even optical physics. But the truly well-known Corning has become precisely thanks to the glasses for smartphones.
Glasses Gorilla Glass created by a special “recipe” – they have a special chemical composition, as well as special chemical and physical treatment. For the first time the idea of such a glass arose at the beginning of the last century – then the manufacturer created a glass called Chemcor. It was used in aviation and road transport, nevertheless, it was not widely used.
What is Gorilla Glass and what is the difference between them?
The protective element of the screen in modern smartphones is the glass, which came to replace the plastic resistive touchscreen. But glass, against the background of transparent polymers, has one significant drawback: it is fragile. One small blow – and the screen is covered with a cobweb of cracks. In order to prevent such an outcome, tempered glasses with increased strength are being actively developed. The most famous manufacturer of them is the American company Corning, famous for its brand Gorilla Glass.
Gorilla Glass is a glass with a special composition, subjected to chemical and physical treatment. Its purpose is to modify the structure of the material, to improve resistance to scratches and shocks. Another of its advantages is the reduction of traumatic danger: the fragments of tempered glass do not have very sharp edges. When using a smartphone with cracked glass, the risk of cutting your finger is significantly reduced. The same goes for the screen of the phone, accidentally crushed in your pocket.
The idea of using chemical glass processing to impart strength was born in the first half of the 20th century. Then, sodium-calcium glass was invented, which possessed increased reliability. In 1959, Corning began to test various methods of chemical glass processing. Then, using alkaline compounds and aluminosilicate, the Chemcor glass was created, used later in aviation and motor transport. But it was not widespread.
It became popular thanks to Steve Jobs, when in 2006 Apple started developing the first iPhone. The prototype device underwent a variety of tests, for example, it was worn in a pocket with small change and keys. The touchscreen quickly scratched and fell into disrepair. Then Jobs had an idea – to resume the project Corning and produce a quality protective glass.
The glass strength on the Moss scale was 6 points. The company achieved this result thanks to quenching by ion exchange. The thickness of the first generation of Gorilla Glass was about 1 mm, while it was three times stronger than conventional tempered glass.
Over time, smartphones began to become thinner, and the thickness of the glass, respectively, had to decrease, so in 2012 the company introduced Gorilla Glass 2.
Gorilla Glass 2
A new generation of protective glass was presented at the International Household Appliances Exhibition in Las Vegas. Specialists have reduced the thickness of glass by 20% and increased its impact resistance by four times.
Gorilla Glass 3
Already in 2013, a new development was presented – Gorilla Glass 3. According to the company, this novelty is safer than sapphire crystal. Thanks to the improved technique of creation, the novelty has become stronger three times than Gorilla Glass 2. The resistance to scratches and shocks increased – 40% and 50%, respectively.
Gorilla Glass 4
In 2014, the world was presented with a new generation of glass. It received the same characteristics as Gorilla Glass 3, but it became much thinner – just 0.4 mm. Thanks to this, new devices can be made much thinner, while they will be protected in the same way as previous ones.
Gorilla Glass 5
In 2016, the company introduced Gorilla Glass 5. The new glass has improved performance and safely remains unscathed in more than 80% of cases of falling the screen down from a height of 1.6 meters.
A technology of manufacturing protective glasses
As already mentioned, the glass lends itself to a special chemical treatment – it is placed in a solution with molten potassium salts and a temperature of about 400-500 degrees Celsius. During this procedure, the sodium ions present in the glass are replaced by larger potassium ions.
Next, the glass is cooled, and it becomes durable because of the increased potassium ions, which press one upon another more strongly than sodium ions. Gorilla Glass production plants are currently located in three countries: the US, Japan, and Taiwan.
Gorilla Glass only for smartphones?
The strength of the glass deserved special attention not only to the manufacturers of smartphones. Its application is wide enough, and we will tell about the most interesting applications of this technology.
In 2003, one of the non-series cars Ford was equipped with a windshield from the company Corning. Its thickness was 3-4 mm, while the thickness of ordinary glass for the machine is 4-6 mm. Thanks to the use of such glass, the manufacturer was able to reduce the weight of the car by 5.5 kg.
In addition, in 2003, Gorilla Glass NBT was announced. This sturdy novelty is designed for laptops with a touchscreen.
Gorilla Glass Analogues
According to statistics, in mid-2016, the protective glass Gorilla Glass was installed on more than 4.5 billion devices around the world. Of course, such popularity has caused competition. One of the analogs was sapphire crystal – it is really extremely difficult to scratch (in fact, it can only be done with the help of a diamond), but it is more fragile, and its value is too high.
Dragontrail from the Japanese manufacturer Asahi is one of the direct competitors for Gorilla Glass, but its manufacturers use mainly in budget devices. Dragontrail equipped with some smartphones Meizu, Lenovo, and Xiaomi.
Xensation Cover is also a serious competitor to Corning, not only in quality but also in price. This glass is produced by the German company Schott. Meizu used glass Xensation Cover in their smartphones of the M3 series.
And finally – Gorilla Glass has its drawbacks, for example, the glass is fast enough and easily scratched, therefore periodically needs to be protected.
Advantages and disadvantages of sapphire and Gorilla Glass
Each has its own pluses and minuses.
|Hardness||Sapphire has much more firmness than any other solutions for screen protection, so it is very difficult to scratch it. Nevertheless, as our personal tests show, nothing is impossible.||Gorilla Glass has less strength than sapphire. This material can be scratched even with metal objects – for example, keys.|
|Flexibility||Sapphire very much loses in terms of flexibility, so when pressure on the device, it can crack without any problems.||Gorilla Glass is a very flexible material, so pressure on the screen of the device with any foreign objects can not critically damage it.|
|Strength||The strength of sapphire leaves much to be desired – it is very fragile and can be easily damaged by the impact. That’s why, by the way, in Vertu phones, sapphire glass has an impressive thickness, which partially alleviates this drawback.||Considering the much greater, in comparison with sapphire, the index of strength, it is much more difficult to damage Gorilla Glass during a fall.|
|Transparency||The transparency of a well-polished sapphire can be called a standard. This guarantees an unprecedented level of brightness and contrast of the image.||In terms of transparency Gorilla Glass clearly loses sapphire – this is visible to the naked eye.|
|Cost||Sapphire is ten times more expensive than Gorilla Glass, which you will definitely have to pay attention to during repair.||Replace the screen, covered Gorilla Glass, you can with much less money – this is an unconditional plus material.|
Gorilla Glass has much more resistance to bending than sapphire. That is why the pressure on him is unlikely to cause him significant damage – he will be scratched, but definitely will not crack. Sapphire, on the contrary, would rather crack than a scratch. Nevertheless, Vertu devices, for example, are installed thick enough plates of transparent sapphire, so this defect is partially leveled.
Well, polished artificial sapphire has much more transparency than any glass, including the very Gorilla Glass. This makes the image on the screen of a modern mobile device much more vivid and clear, which greatly improves the perception of any information from it. Given the fact that it is used both for information input and for its output, this is an important factor for using sapphire to protect the phone screens.
Despite the fact that sapphire, having a huge hardness, is much better than any glass to withstand scratches and retains for a very long time the original appearance of the product, it has a non-obvious drawback. This material is very fragile, so it is easy to break it when the device falls. By this parameter, Gorilla Glass exceeds it a couple of times. That’s why the massive “good” Vertu phones, for example, use thick enough sapphire plates that would not be applicable, for example, for the same iPhone.
Even given the numerous efforts to reduce the cost of artificial sapphire, which companies are resorting to around the world, its price at the moment exceeds the similar rate of Gorilla Glass tenfold. In the first case – about $ 30 per sheet, in the second – only $ 3. It should be taken into account that in this case the cost of the finished component is not indicated, but only the workpiece, so for the mass market today the sapphire is definitely not suitable.
Syed Arslan is a senior review and News writer at 1review2day, focusing on upcoming smart devices. He previously worked for Fortune Magazine, and he has 4 years of experience. He loves testing out new gadgets and complaining about them. He is the ghost of all failed Kickstarters. Email at email@example.com