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HomeReviewsIn Conversation with Corning: What Are the Challenges of Making Tough Glass?

In Conversation with Corning: What Are the Challenges of Making Tough Glass?

Corning this week introduced Gorilla Glass Victus 2, the sequel to 2020 Victus (and last year’s Victus+). This generation focuses on improving drop performance, that is, increasing the chances that the glass will remain intact if the phone is dropped. Rough surfaces such as asphalt and especially concrete are a major challenge.

We spoke with Scott Forester, vice president and business director of Corning’s Glass and Operations Council division, about the process of making strengthened glass. As it turns out, “tough” is a moving target, because phones themselves are changing.

Modern glass is expected to survive 2m drops  (image credit:  Corning) Modern glass is expected to survive drops at 2m (Image source: Corning)Testing Victus 2 glass falling on 80 grid sandpaper (which simulates concrete)

Smartphones have gained 15% average weight over the past four years and 002% becomes larger. Weight and size determine the force of impact when a phone is dropped and how that force is distributed through the screen glass and body of the phone.

Size is determined by market demand, phones with larger screens sell better than compact devices. Large and thin phones tend to bend a lot, which can spell disaster for the glass that protects the front and back.

Test falls on 720 Victus 2 glass on grid sandpaper (simulating concrete)

The extra weight is partly due to having a larger phone. That’s not all, the bigger battery is also heavier. Additionally, manufacturers have moved from plastic to phone chassis to aluminum and even steel, both of which are heavier than plastic (especially steel). A stiffer chassis reduces the pressure on the glass when the phone hits the ground. Corning works with manufacturers to optimize the internal structure of the phone to help improve the durability of the phone. You can watch this video from a few years ago that shows the importance of properly supporting glass.

Sometimes companies even take broken phones from users and examine them closely to find out what caused the glass to shatter – knowledge that will be used to improve the next generation. The team found that rough surfaces were the main cause of screen shattering, with concrete and asphalt being the most common rough surfaces seen by users in their daily lives.

Concrete and asphalt are the most common rough surfaces (image credit: Corning) Concrete and asphalt are the most common rough surfaces (Image source: Corning)

Bigger phones aren’t the only trend, curved displays are also popular. We asked if they were more susceptible to damage – apparently, it doesn’t make much difference whether the impact is on the front of the phone or the curved side. Also, a well-designed rigid frame can save a lot of glass.

There is another connection between smartphone batteries and glass. Corning wants to keep reflectivity low to prevent glare—if ambient light is overwhelming your display, the immediate fix is ​​to turn up the brightness. But that’s a waste of power, which is bad for battery life, and it’s also bad for the glass, which can mean a bigger and heavier battery.

We also asked about screen protectors. Corning has nothing against them, but Forester told us that phones with Gorilla Glass are designed to survive without additional protection, so a protector isn’t a necessity.

For those due to the improved survivability of Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which will be available in the next few months. The specific mobile phones are not yet known, and they are not official. But you can use a phone finder to make an educated guess.




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