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Gorilla Glass


It’s a sheet glass with its own primate marketing blitz. Corning’s Gorilla Glass, invented in 1964 as Chemcor, fulfilled its goal of being a glass as strong as steel. Here’s the explanation from Dr. Donnell Walton, senior applications engineer at Corning of how chemical tempering strengthens the glass:

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.

Chemcor languished as cheaper alternatives appeared for its targeted appplications of car windshields and sunglasses. Then LCDs became popular and Corning is now a top supplier of glass for laptops and flatscreen TVs. Someone remembered Chemcor and it was dusted off, tweaked, given a new name and publicity campaign. Gorilla Glass “has been designed into more than 100 models by 19 major brands.” Only a few of them allow Corning to talk about it. Apple’s not on that list  (those who have cracked their iPhones may be wondering) but Motorola’s Droid is.  With this recent little PR buzz (it has its own Facebook page), Corning is poising Gorilla Glass for the touchscreen revolution and beyond. Star Trek IV fans have already taken note of its “aluminum-composite composition” in relation to Scotty’s “transparent aluminum” whale tank (though the U.S. military want to claim that reference with their aluminum oxynitride transparent armor). Now if  our gadgets can also be sealed off from laundry, rain, and bathroom incidents, we klutzes will be all set.

Written by ltao

August 9th, 2010 at 1:17 am

Posted in craft