Technology behind Gorilla Glass

Corning Gorilla Glass

When we carry around computers, tablets, smartphones, MP3 players and other devices, we risk damaging them through everyday use. The Corning has developed and designed Gorilla Glass for protecting our electronic products screen. This Glass stands up to abuse with scratch- and impact-resistant qualities. Gorilla Glass was first implemented in a mobile device screen in 2007, in the iPhone.

Gorilla Glass wasn’t the first advance glass made by Corning, the company developed other types of resistant glasses that were used on household items, ophthalmic devices, and for car, aerospace and pharmaceutical applications. With smartphones, Corning's real success started in 2010.

Now, let’s find out which process is stand behind this technology

  • The process begins when raw materials are blended into a glass composition, which is melted and conditioned.

  • The molten glass is fed into a trough called an isopipe, overfilling until the glass flows evenly over both sides. This same fusion process is at the heart of Corning’s industry-leading LCD glass.

  • It then rejoins, or fuses, at the bottom, where it is drawn down to form a continuous sheet of flat glass that is so thin it is measured in microns.

  • The glass is untouched by human hands or anything else that will introduce flaws into the surface.

  • The composition of Corning Gorilla Glass enables a deep layer of chemical strengthening through an ion-exchange process where individual glass parts are cut from the mother sheet and undergo an ion-exchange process.

  • Ion exchange is a chemical strengthening process where large ions are “stuffed” into the glass surface, creating a state of compression.

  • The glass is placed in a hot bath of molten salt at a temperature of approximately 400 degrees C.

  • At this temperature, the heat breaks down sodium's ionic bond to the aluminosilicate. But one of the qualities lower active metals can maintain an ionic bond at higher temperatures than the lighter active metals. Potassium weighs more than sodium - that 400 degrees Celsius isn't enough to keep potassium ions and the aluminosilicate apart.

  • After a nice hot dip in the potassium bath, the aluminosilicate emerges compressed by potassium ions.

  • The compression creates a protective layer on the glass and gives it strength that normal glass doesn't have, but still environmentally conscious.

  • These large ions take up more room and are pressed together when the glass cools, producing a layer of compressive stress on the surface of the glass.

  • Gorilla Glass’ composition enables the potassium ions to diffuse far into the surface, creating high compressive stress deep into the glass.

  • This layer of compression creates the surface that is more resistant to damage.

Versions of Gorilla Glass

Gorilla Glass 1 - The first Gorilla Glass was ready between 2005 and 2006, but its big debut really came with the iPhone. Apple released its device to the world in 2007 and, at the company’s request, the technology on its display was 1.5 mm thick and had an oleophobic coating, which minimized fingerprints and smudges.

Gorilla Glass 2 - The second generation Glass was introduced in 2012. In the same year on October 24, Corning announced over one billion mobile devices used Gorilla Glass. Gorilla Glass 2 is 20% thinner than the original Gorilla Glass. In lab tests, it could hold up to 50 kg of pressure without cracking or breaking.

Gorilla Glass 3 - This version was introduced at CES 2013. According to Corning, the material is up to three times more scratch-resistant than the previous version, with enhanced ability to resist deep scratches that typically weaken glass. The promotional material for Gorilla Glass 3 claims that it is 40% more scratch-resistant, in addition to being more flexible.

Gorilla Glass 4 - Gorilla Glass 4 with better damage resistance and capability to be made thinner with the same performance as its predecessor, was announced at the end of 2014.

Gorilla Glass 5 - It was first used on the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in 2016. Its technology can prevent cracks in up to 80% of falls onto extremely hard surfaces at the height of 1 meter.

Gorilla Glass SR+ - This was first used on the Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch in 2016.

Features of Corning Gorilla Glass

Corning Gorilla Glass provides outstanding performance and durability, with distinct advantages over other materials.

Damage resistance

Gorilla Glass is chemically strengthened through an ion-exchange process that creates a deep compression layer on the surface of the glass substrate. This layer acts as “armor” to reduce the introduction of flaws.

Compatibility with touchscreens

It’s an ideal cover sheet for touch screens. It’s tough enough to handle the surface pressures intrinsic to these devices, and exceptionally thin to enable more sensitive and accurate responses.

Thinner form

Depending on application and manufacturer specifications, Gorilla Glass can be produced in thicknesses ranging from 0.4 mm to 2 mm. Even at 0.4 mm, Gorilla Glass retains a performance advantage over many other cover materials.

Incredible surface quality

Corning’s proprietary fusion process gives Gorilla Glass the same superior surface as all of high technology display substrates. This extraordinarily precise, highly automated process produces glass with exceptionally clean, smooth, flat surfaces and outstanding optical clarity.

Disadvantages of Gorilla Glass

  • It’s little more expensive than normal glass.

  • Its manufacturing process is more complicated than other glass.

  • It uses more chemicals than normal manufacturing of glass.

  • Its manufacturing process is more energy intensive.

  • It might be harder to manufacture large panes of glass.

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