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What is Gorilla Glass and Why It Is So Good for Your Phone

Mar 17

I remember the day I got my first iPhone like it was yesterday. It felt like a dream come true after wishing for one for years. People had always been telling me how fragile iPhones were and how easily they could break if dropped, but I still felt so excited to finally have one of my own.   
 After months of use, disaster finally struck when I accidentally dropped my phone on the sidewalk. My heart sunk as I saw it crack right down the middle of the screen. My mind raced with worry and stress — until I remembered that my phone used Gorilla Glass technology.  
 Gorilla Glass is special because it's an ultra-thin, super-tough material that makes your phone much stronger and less prone to damage than standard glass on other devices. The fact that my phone had this layer of strong glass meant that its screen wasn't completely shattered after being dropped onto concrete. The Gorilla Glass had protected it from cracking beyond repair — all I needed to do was replace the broken pieces with new ones, which was much more affordable than getting a whole new screen!  
 To this day, whenever I hear about Gorilla Glass, it brings back fond memories of how this amazing material saved me hundreds of dollars in repairs and kept me connected to the important people in my life — all thanks to an incredibly strong layer of glass!

Gorilla Glass

Consumers have witnessed the smartphone revolution, which has practically transformed the world, during the last decade. Cell phones have progressed from novelty to necessity.

Given all that our phones mean to us, customers want more from them than ever before. Consumers desire slimmer, lighter, and more aesthetically beautiful devices that are also more sturdy to withstand the abuses that come with mobility. They also demand scratch resistance and superior touch capabilities that allow them to keep the world at their fingers.

Corning Gorilla Glass has been a prominent player in the smartphone industry since its inception. The cover glass that protects your phone and allows for that great touch experience was developed in a laboratory in upstate New York. Corning's finest scientists conducted thousands of hours of testing to determine how and why glass breaks when dropped. And they keep innovating by discovering new ways to reinforce glass in order to provide considerably increased performance against drops on hard surfaces.

How is Gorilla Glass manufactured?

Fusion-draw Process

Corning's patented fusion manufacturing method is at the heart of its glass technology and cover glass industry leadership. This ultra-precise, highly automated draw process yields thin sheet cover glass with flawless surface quality, exceptional optical clarity, and intrinsic dimensional stability – all of which are required for cover glass for consumer applications.

The process begins with the mixing of raw ingredients into a glass composition, which is then melted and conditioned. The molten glass is pumped into a "isopipe," which is overfilled until the glass flows evenly over both sides. It then rejoins, or fuses, at the bottom, where it is dragged down to produce a continuous sheet of flat glass as thin as a micron. Human hands or anything else that could introduce defects into the surface have not touched the glass.

The Ion-Exchange Method

Ion exchange is a chemical strengthening process in which big ions are "stuffed" into the glass surface, compressing it. Gorilla Glass is purpose-built to enhance this behavior. The glass is immersed in a bath of molten salt at a temperature of about 400 degrees Celsius. Smaller sodium ions leave the glass and are replaced by larger potassium ions from the salt bath. These big ions take up more space and are forced together as the glass cools, resulting in a layer of compressive tension on the glass's surface. The nature of Gorilla Glass allows potassium ions to permeate further into the surface, causing substantial compressive stress deep inside the glass. This layer of compression generates a more damage-resistant surface.

Corning's concentration on creating the technology behind the glass is one of its biggest assets. Corning's research has produced life-changing technologies such as the glass envelope for Edison's light bulb, the glass envelope for cathode ray picture tubes (CRTs) and liquid crystal displays (LCDs), and the first low-loss optical fiber suitable for telecommunications. At our four major research facilities, we continue to investigate new glass compositions and process innovations: Sullivan Park in Corning, New York; Corning Technology Center in Sunnyvale, California; Corning Technology Center in Shizuoka, Japan; and Corning Research Center Taiwan in Hsinchu, Taiwan.

Scientists in these labs collaborate closely with Gorilla Glass commercial, engineering, and manufacturing teams to predict industry trends and provide new or better glass technologies that bring value to the products and processes of customers.

Corning has created Corning Gorilla Glass SR+ particularly for wearable devices, which dramatically reduces apparent scratches while offering the robustness, optical clarity, and touch sensitivity that have made Gorilla Glass famous. The first EPA-registered antimicrobial cover glass, Corning Gorilla Glass, is engineered with antimicrobial qualities to protect touch surfaces and combat the thousands of microorganisms that reside on a mobile device surface as a result of everyday touching, tapping, and swiping. Another Corning breakthrough is vibrant Corning Gorilla Glass. Corning prints a bright, bespoke design for smartphones, tablets, or notebooks on Corning Gorilla Glass using their unique process, ink, and equipment.

Additional Reading:

  1. Consumers: These are the end-users of mobile devices with Gorilla Glass screens. They may not be familiar with the specifics of Gorilla Glass, but they are the ones who benefit from its durability and scratch-resistance.

  2. Gorilla Glass versions: There have been multiple versions of Gorilla Glass, each with their own specific characteristics and improvements. These could be mentioned in the article to provide context for how the glass has evolved over time.

  3. Other uses of Gorilla Glass: While Gorilla Glass is primarily known for its use in mobile devices, it has also been used in other applications such as cars, smartwatches, and even on the International Space Station. These could be interesting to mention in the article to highlight the versatility of Gorilla Glass.

  4. Environmental impact: While Gorilla Glass is durable and long-lasting, it is still made from glass which has environmental implications. This could be a point of discussion in the article, especially in the context of the growing focus on sustainability and eco-friendliness.

  5. Testing and certification: Gorilla Glass undergoes rigorous testing to ensure its durability and scratch-resistance. The testing and certification process could be discussed in the article to provide insight into how Gorilla Glass is developed and tested.

  6. Glass manufacturing process: The manufacturing process for Gorilla Glass is a complex one that involves several stages. This could be touched upon in the article to give readers an idea of how the glass is made.

  7. Partnerships and collaborations: Corning has collaborated with various companies to bring Gorilla Glass to their devices. These could be mentioned in the article to show how Gorilla Glass has become a ubiquitous feature in the mobile device market.

  8. Future developments: Corning is constantly working on improving Gorilla Glass and developing new versions. This could be mentioned in the article to give readers an idea of what to expect from Gorilla Glass in the future.