Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Corning Unveils 'Project Phire' Super Scratch-Resistant Glass

Project Phire
Project Phire – Ultra-Scratch Resistance 

According to recent CNET report, Corning has unveiled a new material that it had been working on, which combines the strength of its prevailing Gorilla glass with ultra-scratch resistance and the material named `Project Phire’, was shown during an investor meeting by James Clappin, President of Corning Glass.

Corning, whose Gorilla Glass display covers the front of Apple’s iPhone as well as Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones, has been creating new material which would combine the toughness of Gorilla with a scratch-resistance like that of sapphire.Clappin states that company intends to begin selling the material later this year but provided few other details.

He informed the gathering that `they had told them last year that sapphire was great for scratch performance but did not fare well when dropped. Hence they created a product which offers the same superior damage resistance and drop performance of Gorilla Glass 4 with scratch resistance which is like sapphire’.

Corning gets its revenue from glass TV displays and fibre-optics, though Gorilla Glass is an important growth for the company. The material is the main item presently in hardened glass for mobile devices for about three billion electronics, which includes Apple’s new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus and Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge and Galaxy Note 4.

Gorilla Glass Superior to Sapphire 

Sapphire was used for some time in high-end watches due to its scratch resistance and luxurious quality and Apple intends using sapphire covers for some versions of Apple Watch which would be coming out this April. The existing Gorilla Glass of Corning is being used in various smartphones and tablet displays, from Samsung’s Galaxy line to Apple’s iOS line-up.

Apple had intentions of moving out from Corning’s Gorilla Glass with its iPhone 6 and 6 Plus turning to sapphire produced by GT Advanced though was unable to use the material due to some issues on production which later on, dissolved the partnership between the two companies. As per Corning, Gorilla Glass seems to be superiorto sapphire since sapphire is brittle and has the tendency to shatter when dropped. On several occasions, Corning has pitted Gorilla Glass against sapphire, highlighting its benefits of lighter weight, greater strength with lower prices.

Affordable, Easier to Obtain Replacement for Sapphire

Corning’s most recent product, Gorilla Glass 4, is more resistant to shatter when dropped on hard or rough surfaces than the previous version of Gorilla Glass though it is not capable to match the scratch resistant properties of sapphire crystal. Sapphire is next to diamond with regards to hardness and Apple has been using this material already in order to protect the iPhone’s rear camera as well as Touch ID fingerprint sensor, from scratches.

Apple’s plan to produce iPhone display with higher scratch resistance, could make Corning’s `Project Phire’ material very appealing to the company for the next generation devices since it could serve as a more affordable, easier to obtain replacement for sapphire. At the investor presentation recently, Corning executives also discussed the company’s Iris glass first unveiled at the Consumer’s Electronics Show, last month. He claims that Iris could help the manufacturers in building new TVs which will be thin as smartphones and would need minimal edges round the sides.

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