The fight against gravity is one that your smartphone is never going to win but companies like Corning strive to minimize the damage. Their Gorilla Glass brand of hardened glass is used by nearly every major electronics manufacturer as a deterrent against scratched screens.
With the company’s fourth generation glass, however, the focus has shifted from scratch resistance to impact protection. Specifically, Gorilla Glass 4 was designed to stand up better against drops onto hard surfaces like concrete better than before.
During its development, Corning scientists used 180-grit sandpaper to simulate falls onto hard surfaces. In testing Gorilla Glass 4 against the competition, Corning’s solution survived impacts up to 80 percent of the time. What’s more, the fourth generation glass showed up to two times improvement over Gorilla Glass 3 when dropped from a height of one meter.
Corning East Asia president Cliff Hund said they haven’t wiped out the possibility of breaks but they’ve taken a real chunk out of it. The executive admitted that sapphire is still top of the line in terms of visible scratch resistance but as the sour deal between Apple and supplier GT Advanced Technologies has shown, producing it in quantities to cover millions of phones is no easy task.
Corning also said there were no compromises that had to be made with Gorilla Glass 4 to improve its strength; it retains the same optical clarity as before.
Gorilla Glass 4 is already shipping to manufacturing partners and is expected to show up in handsets within this quarter.