Gorilla glass, a product of Corning Incorporated, is a chemically strengthened glass that offers impressive scratch and impact-resistance. It is used in a wide selection of electronic devices including smartphones, laptops, and tablets. Some of the smartphone manufacturers that use Gorilla glass screens include iPhone, HTC, Motorola, Samsung, LG, Nokia, and Samsung. Gorilla glass has emerged as the favorite product in the touch screen race as evidenced by the large number of devices that are currently using this technology. This touch screen technology is popular for its outstanding optical clarity, pristine surface quality, and unmatched dimensional stability. Gorilla glass screens have quickly replaced regular glass screens owing to their impressive resistance to scratches, fractures, and sticky oils. There are many differences between Gorilla glass and regular glass screens and they explain why this new technology has successfully conquered the touch screen market.
The differences between the two smartphone screens begin in the manufacturing processes. Regular glass is manufactured by melting a combination of soda ash, limestone, and silica in a furnace at 1700oC. On the other hand, Gorilla glass is manufactured by immersing glass in an alkaline salt bath at 400oC. An ion exchange process is used to produce compressive residual stress on the surface of the glass. It’s this residual stress that reduces the tendency of Gorilla glass to crack.
Regular glass screens are highly susceptible to scratches. Scratches affect the optical clarity and surface quality of a touch screen. The Gorilla glass is chemically strengthened to offer high resistance to scratches. This property maintains their surface quality and clarity.
The touch sensitivity of a smartphone screen is lowered by sticky oils, scratches and fractures. The touch sensitivity of regular glass screens reduces with time mainly because of their low resistance to scratches. In contrast, Gorilla glass touch screens offer unmatched touch sensitivity because of their high resistance to scratches and sticky substances.
Regular glass screens are highly susceptible to breaking and shattering especially when they are dropped on hard surfaces. The cost of replacing a shattered touch screen is usually high. Gorilla glass touch screens are designed with such concerns in mind. They are designed to survive everyday abuses and unexpected drops. Corning Inc. immerses glass in molten salt bath to produce a tough product that has high resistance to shattering.
The technology used in the manufacturing of today’s Gorilla glass produces a very thin sheet of glass that has impressively high mechanical strength. The end product of this innovative technology is touch screens that are thinner than regular glass screens. This form factor also enhances the touch sensitivity and response. Depending on the manufacturer’s specifications and application, Corning can produce thicknesses varying between 0.4mm and 2mm. The chemical strengthening of glass through ion exchange accounts for Gorilla glass touch screen’s good mechanical strength.
In summary, the durability and outstanding performance of the Gorilla glass are certainly the reasons why it has successfully outperformed regular glass in the dynamic touch screen market. The advantages of the Gorilla glass as compared to regular glass are numerous and include the following: thinner form factor that enhances touch sensitivity and responsiveness; higher damage resistance due to the deep compression layer that results from the ion exchange process; outstandingly superior surface quality; higher resistance to scratches; impressive mechanical strength that resists shattering and breakages, and unrivalled optical quality. These strengths have made the Gorilla glass the ideal choice of many smartphone manufacturers.