Here’s a bit smashing news for anyone who has ever had to fork over money getting your smartphone screen repaired. Corning, the makers of the Gorilla Glass found in more than 70 per cent of smartphone screens, including Apple and Samsung, have announced a new, tougher glass for phones.
During a press briefing, Corning report that a recent study finds 85 per cent of smartphone users drop their mobile at least once per year, with 60 per cent reporting they drop it between waist and shoulder height. Their Gorilla Glass 5 they claim will survive 80 per cent of face-down falls when dropped from 1.6 metres, roughly the height of a shoulder. Speaking to BBC News, Corning says that their newest type of glass is also two times better at resisting scratches and other damage compared to their competitors.
Phone screens tend to shatter and crack when a small flaw on the glass from a scratch or manufacturing error is combined with the tensile pressure caused when the phone is bent or dropped. With more than 130 years experience manufacturing glass items, such as the first light bulbs to Pyrex dishes and television screens, Corning’s hands-free method of creating their Gorilla Glass aims to reduce the amount of flaws introduced to the screen at a manufacturing level.
Of course things will be a little different when smartphone manufacturers actually get Gorilla Glass 5 into their devices as tests so far have all been conducted under lab conditions. The company accepts that overall performance will depend on how manufacturers build the glass into their smartphones, but with 4.5 billion devices currently using Gorilla Glass, results on the strength of the new glass will come in thick and fast – especially from the excitable and unpredictable fingers of giddy new iPhone 7 owners.
Follow Science Focus on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Flipboard