Corning launches 2X harder Gorilla Glass 4 with improved drop damage resistance

Posted:
in General Discussion edited November 2014
Apple supplier Corning on Thursday took the wraps off of its next-generation Gorilla Glass 4, which the company says is up to two times harder than competing glasses used in existing smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices.




Corning's new Gorilla Glass 4 is advertised to survive drops onto rough surfaces up to 80 percent of the time. In contrast, the soda-lime glass used in commercial devices breaks nearly 100 percent of the time in the same tests.

Gorilla Glass 4 was designed by Corning scientists who found that breakage in mobile devices is caused by "sharp contact," like dropping onto pavement, 70 percent of the time. Corning developed new drop-test methods to simulate real-world break events, dropping devices from one meter in height.



Corning says its new Gorilla Glass 4, manufactured with a proprietary fusion draw process, handily outlasted the competition in those tests. Product sampling and shipment of the next-generation glass is said to be underway.

"Corning Gorilla Glass has outperformed competing materials, such as soda-lime glass and other strengthened glass, since it was introduced in 2007, and we're always innovating to push the limits of what glass can do," said James R. Steiner, senior vice president and general manager of Corning Specialty Materials. "With Gorilla Glass 4, we have focused on significantly improving protection against sharp contact damage, which is the primary reason that mobile devices break. Dropping and breaking a phone is a common problem, and one that our customers have asked us to help address."




Apple doesn't disclose specific component suppliers, but the company has been using strengthened Gorilla Glass in all iPhone models since the first-generation device debuted in 2007. Apple enthusiasts were hopeful that the company would switch from Gorilla Glass to a proprietary use of harder scratch resistant sapphire material in this year's iPhones, but the implosion of sapphire supplier GT Advanced Technologies prevented those ambitious goals from becoming a reality.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are believed to use Corning's Gorilla Glass 3, which debuted in early 2013 with improved scratch resistance over its predecessor. Apple does use sapphire instead of Gorilla Glass to protect the Touch ID fingerprint sensing home button on its iPhone and iPad lineups, as well as the rear camera lenses on some devices.



Apple's interest in sapphire did prompt Corning executives to go on the defensive this year, decrying the competing material as expensive, heavy and environmentally unfriendly. Corning executives claim that sapphire, in its current state, is ten times more expensive than its own Gorilla Glass, while also being 1.6 times heavier and transmitting less light.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,803member
    The headline is difficult to parse. Is Gorilla Glass 4 twice as hard as 3? I believe not. It's twice as hard a competing manufacturer's glass. But may only be a bit harder than their own older version.
  • Reply 2 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    The headline is difficult to parse. Is Gorilla Glass 4 twice as hard as 3? I believe not. It's twice as hard a competing manufacturer's glass. But may only be a bit harder than their own older version.



    That's what I was wondering - less than 2 years and it's twice as hard again? How much longer until it's invincible?

  • Reply 3 of 52
    Transparent aluminum... That's the ticket Laddie... Or should I just press delete?????
  • Reply 4 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post



    Transparent aluminum... That's the ticket Laddie... Or should I just press delete?????



    Punch up clear, punch up clear!

  • Reply 5 of 52
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,945member

    Given that it sounds like a big part of GTAT's problem was an inability to manage large scale production, maybe the solution is to bring Corning into the mix to help with the actual implementation of GTAT's ideas (to the extent that those ideas have merit... maybe they just don't). 

  • Reply 6 of 52

    Punch up clear, punch up clear!

    Sorry Captain, me memory banks are full to the limit! She'll blow apart!????
  • Reply 7 of 52
    So the test involves a height of one meter (about three feet)? Two meters (six feet) would be more true to life, since it would simulate falling from a phone being held up to the head. Does Corning think that most smartphone users are little children?

    A friend working for a paper company was once given a task. Food aid overseas often went in bags they made, but the federal government was thinking of shifting to something stronger. His job was to experiment until he came up with an impressive-looking test that his company's bags would pass but their competitors would fail.

    I wonder if something similar is going on here. Corning may have experimented and settled on a one meter fall because the results look far better than that from two meters.

    Also, keep in mind that hardness is linked to scratch resistance. That's not the same as not shattering in a fall. Hard can mean brittle and thus breaking easily. Think of diamonds.

    Glass can also be very strange at times. Once, when I was moving, the glass plate I was using to cover a table top broke off when I attempted to lift it by one corner. It went into the pile intended for the city waste facility.

    At the waste facility I thought, This is going to be fun. I'll get to hurl that large glass plate whose corner had broken off so easily, onto bare concrete 20 feet below. It'll shatter into a thousand pieces.

    It not only didn't shatter, it didn't even break at all. Just a loud clunk.
  • Reply 8 of 52
    melgross wrote: »
    The headline is difficult to parse. Is Gorilla Glass 4 twice as hard as 3? I believe not. It's twice as hard a competing manufacturer's glass. But may only be a bit harder than their own older version.

    I just read up to "Corning launches 2X harder" and thought it was an ad for Cialis.
  • Reply 9 of 52
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post



    So the test involves a height of one meter (about three feet)? Two meters (six feet) would be more true to life, since it would simulate falling from a phone being held up to the head. Does Corning think that most smartphone users are little children?

     

    Actually, dropping a phone held next to your ear would seem to be unlikely. More common, I'd think, would be the phone slipping out of a pocket, or falling to the ground when you tried to put it into or take it out off a pocket, or falling off a table, or falling off your lap... all of which meet the 1-meter (3-ft) criteria quite nicely.

  • Reply 10 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,803member
    inkling wrote: »
    So the test involves a height of one meter (about three feet)? Two meters (six feet) would be more true to life, since it would simulate falling from a phone being held up to the head. Does Corning think that most smartphone users are little children?

    A friend working for a paper company was once given a task. Food aid overseas often went in bags they made, but the federal government was thinking of shifting to something stronger. His job was to experiment until he came up with an impressive-looking test that his company's bags would pass but their competitors would fail.

    I wonder if something similar is going on here. Corning may have experimented and settled on a one meter fall because the results look far better than that from two meters.

    Also, keep in mind that hardness is linked to scratch resistance. That's not the same as not shattering in a fall. Hard can mean brittle and thus breaking easily. Think of diamonds.

    Glass can also be very strange at times. Once, when I was moving, the glass plate I was using to cover a table top broke off when I attempted to lift it by one corner. It went into the pile intended for the city waste facility.

    At the waste facility I thought, This is going to be fun. I'll get to hurl that large glass plate whose corner had broken off so easily, onto bare concrete 20 feet below. It'll shatter into a thousand pieces.

    It not only didn't shatter, it didn't even break at all. Just a loud clunk.

    Most people drop their phones at about waist height. It's a standard height for drop tests.
  • Reply 11 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ahmlco View Post

     

    ... all of which meet the 3-meter criteria quite nicely.


     

    A "drop" of more than 10 feet ?? (for us Brits and Americans) ... that seems a bit absurd.

     

    ;)

  • Reply 12 of 52
    melgross wrote: »
    Most people drop their phones at about waist height. It's a standard height for drop tests.

    Maybe he's one of the Three Stooges, and is constantly getting smacked in the head.
  • Reply 13 of 52

    It's amazing how Corning can continue to improve on their glass year after year. They must hit some of kind physical limit at some point.

  • Reply 14 of 52
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by boeyc15 View Post



    Transparent aluminum... That's the ticket Laddie... Or should I just press delete?????

     

    "Computer... Hellooo computer."

  • Reply 15 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,803member
    ralphmouth wrote: »
    It's amazing how Corning can continue to improve on their glass year after year. They must hit some of kind physical limit at some point.

    I wonder what actual percent improvements they do make each year. We really don't know that.

    The on,y way a major improvement will be made is if they use a multilayer approach. Very thin ,ayers, separated by very thin adhesive that can move slightly is the way shellfish such as clams retain such strength in their shels, despite the very soft,, and weak, calcium based material the shell is composed of. Scientists have pretty much duplicated that using many extremely thin layers inter dispersed with thin glue.

    That could be an order of magnitude more resistant to breakage than the best cover material available today.
  • Reply 16 of 52
    ralphmouth wrote: »
    It's amazing how Corning can continue to improve on their glass year after year. They must hit some of kind physical limit at some point.

    There is surely a ceiling in what man can do with creating new molecules but I don't think we'll know we've hit that ceiling until we've hit it. This isn't like a reduction in transistor size where we know that 0.0 is the ceiling for miniaturization with our current knowledge of physics. This may only be the beginning.
  • Reply 17 of 52
    solipsismy wrote: »
    There is surely a ceiling in what man can do with creating new molecules but I don't think we'll know we've hit that ceiling until we've hit it. This isn't like a reduction in transistor size where we know that 0.0 is the ceiling for miniaturization with our current knowledge of physics.

    You're forgetting about infinite divisibility.
  • Reply 18 of 52
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 31,803member
    solipsismy wrote: »
    There is surely a ceiling in what man can do with creating new molecules but I don't think we'll know we've hit that ceiling until we've hit it. This isn't like a reduction in transistor size where we know that 0.0 is the ceiling for miniaturization with our current knowledge of physics. This may only be the beginning.

    0.0 is the ceiling? Nothing over nothing? The ceiling is much bigger than nothing. The argument in the industry is exactly where that ceiling is.

    Intel is not just claiming that 10nm will be next, they're claiming 7nm after that, and even 5nm! But the experts in that field aren't too sure that even 7nm is possible, much less 5.

    After we get to the end, that's it! New science and technology will be required. The best bet now is carbon nanotubes. Both IBM and Hp have been investigating that for close to a decade. It's hoped that by the time Moore's law is done, it will become available. But we still don't know. We have to about 2020.
  • Reply 19 of 52
    dasanman69 wrote: »
    You're forgetting about infinite divisibility.

    I didn't forget about more than I think we can't have transistors that are smaller than the size of the atoms that they're composed of. Of course, one can also say there are finite number of elements and so there are a finite number of combinations for a given number of atoms per molecule but that number is too excessive to fathom that I will say it's beyond humanities potential to find all possible solutions.
  • Reply 20 of 52
    melgross wrote: »
    0.0 is the ceiling? Nothing over nothing? The ceiling is much bigger than nothing. The argument in the industry is exactly where that ceiling is.

    An absolute ceiling. Where it's not possible. One might be able to create a theory that 0.01 might be possible but the absolute limit is 0.0 without affecting physics. We'll need TARDIS technology to put something bigger into something smaller. I welcome it but I'm not holding my breath… or blinking. Don't blink. Blink and you're dead.
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