The maker of Gorilla Glass is working on foldable displays

07 March, 2019, 06:46 | Author: Patty Hardy
  • Corning Is Reportedly Developing a Glass Variant Specifically Made for Foldable Smartphones – Could Apple Use This Instead of Plastic?

The price is one of the major issues, but the materials needed for a foldable display are another.

Corning provided a first-look at its foldable glass project last December, just before this season's pack of foldable phone unveilings. Not only does a pane of hardened glass increase the structural strength of a phone (not unlike your vehicle windshield), it's nearly impossible to scratch unless you're a pocket sand aficionado.

Although Samsung and Huawei have already unveiled their respective Galaxy Fold and Mate X flexible-display smartphones, albeit with insane prices and mostly half-baked software, a new article by Wired suggests that users should hold out for real glass before actually committing to a foldable smartphone.

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Wired reports that the company is looking to make a hybrid of its rollable Willow Glass and its Gorilla Glass. This makes the glass panel thin and flexible - capable of bending thousands of times with no deformation. But plastic isn't as durable as glass, and can warp and crease if folded and unfolded time and time again.

However, Corning is reportedly developing a 0.1mm-think bendable glass which can resist drops and cracks while keeping a 5mm bend radius. That should allow for a phone that is 6 to 10mm thick with a display folded around it. Now, the Galaxy Fold and Mate X are priced around $2000. Willow Glass alone can't be used on phones because it is dipped in a salt solution during the manufacturing process. Gorilla Glass' strength comes from removing sodium ions and packing the same space with larger potassium ions to create more rigidity. Salt can destroy the transistors used inside a handset. The electronics would slowly corrode until they stopped working. Thus, the company is working on glass-based protective screen. It just won't work on foldable phones yet. They also wrinkle over time, especially when folded repeatedly. Until then, your $2,000 foldable phone is at risk.

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