Reflections on Gorilla Glass

Tuesday, 13 December, 2011

Gorilla Glass The screen on the new laptop is a 13.3″ thin-film transistor liquid-crystal display (TFT-LCD) protected by a glossy infinity Corning® Gorilla® Glass finish. This is an environmentally friendly alkali-aluminosilicate thin-sheet glass that’s used for the displays of about 20 percent of the world’s mobile phones today.

“Glass is a brittle material. Brittle materials are extremely strong under compression but extremely weak under tension,” said Dr. Donnell Walton, senior applications engineer at Corning, when he spoke to Andrew Nusca of smartplanet. “When you chemically temper a glass, you immerse it in a salt bath and you stuff larger ions in all the surfaces and put them all under compression. What’s unique about Gorilla Glass is that because of its inherent composition, it can allow those larger ions to penetrate the surface more deeply to increase the compression tolerance and tolerate deeper scratches. The compression pushes a flaw back. It’s harder to break from a deeper scratch.”

Not everyone likes glossy screens, of course. They’re a question of taste. Among the upsides are the resilience and easy-to-clean factors; the downsides include the reflective nature of the glass which, apart from usability issues in brightly-lit environments, tends to act as a mirror and confronts the early-morning user with an unneeded and often unflattering reminder of the night before.

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