Is This The End Of The Cracked Screen?

Can Corning Gorilla Glass 4 save us?

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Head Image
© 2017 Corning

A cracked screen is more than any other, the kind of damage that puts phones out of action for good. We all dread the realisation that our beloved smartphone will be scarred forever with a spider web of cracks, after something as simple a short fall onto hard ground. Luckily there might just be an end in sight to this unsightly and unfortunate menace.

Currently, the most popular glass for use in smartphones is Gorilla Glass 3, produced by well-known glass manufacturer Corning. While this glass is very good at resisting the kind of damaged caused by scratches, the company’s research has found that (unsurprisingly) the most common kind of damage which screens suffer is not from scratches, but rather from falls onto a hard surface which result in a completely cracked screen.

Image: © 2014 Corning

Knowing this, over the course of the last year, they have been working on a new iteration of their smartphone glass product, which they are calling Gorilla Glass 4. The new product has gone through a rigorous testing procedure to allow for the company to create its most drop-resistant glass yet. This test included a specialised rig which Corning used to drop hundreds of glass panels onto a rough sandpaper surface to eventually find a formula which was stronger than the rest.

Through their experimentation, Corning was able to determine that their new Gorilla Glass 4 product was twice as resistance to breakage when compared to competing alumino-silicate glasses. In fact, they found that their new glass formula was able to survive up to 80% of all falls from a 1m height onto a hard surface, in comparison to an almost 100% failure rate for soda-lime glass.

Given that almost all major manufacturers already use Gorilla Glass 3, it is likely this new product will have rapid uptake. Corning believes that come next quarter, this toughened glass will already begin appearing on smartphones and other consumer electronics devices.