Monday, December 20, 2010

Technology: Gorilla Glass, the Smartphone's Unsung Hero

[Gorilla Glass] covers the screens of 280 gadgets from 20 brands — Samsung, LG, Dell, Motorola, Acer and so on. Needless to say, it's been a hit; sales of Gorilla Glass were under $100 million last year, will be $250 million for 2010, and, if the TV market takes off as Corning expects, will hit $1 billion next year.

Corning's Web site goes into some detail on how this glass is made: The glass is placed in a hot bath of molten salt at a temperature of approximately 400°C. Smaller sodium ions leave the glass, and larger potassium ions from the salt bath replace them. These larger ions take up more room and are pressed together when the glass cools, producing a layer of compressive stress on the surface of the glass. Gorilla Glass's special composition enables the potassium ions to diffuse far into the surface, creating high compressive stress deep into the glass. This layer of compression creates a surface that is more resistant to damage from everyday use.

For more, see Gorilla Glass, the Smartphone's Unsung Hero by David Pogue, December 9, 2010 at The New York Times.

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