Facts first. Glass is not indestructible, as it is a brittle material.
However in ten short years, Corning has not only pioneered the smartphone cover glass industry, it has made it scratch resistant and strong enough to survive multiple drops from waist and shoulder height.
We had a chance visit Corning’s Museum of Glass, their Sullivan R&D facility and the Canada Road Testing Labs, where we learnt about what it takes to make glass as strong as it can physically be.
Corning’s latest products - Gorilla Glass 5 and SR+ are on the new Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone and Gear S3 smartwatch. We had a firsthand look at prototypes and other things Corning is working on. We also spoke to Josh Jacobs, (Technology Manager of Gorilla Glass Product Performance and Reliability) who told us more about SR+.
What SR+ does is that it combines the supreme levels of toughness, optical clarity and touch sensitivity of Gorilla Glass with superior scratch-resistance that is expected from a luxury watch’s crystal material.
As we were taken through the lab tests Josh emphasised on the fact that versus those alternative materials, Gorilla Glass SR+ delivered 70% better damage resistance against impact, plus superior optical performance that enables wearable devices to feature better battery life and easier readability outdoors, under the sun.
The image you see above is home to roughly 3000 employees, out of which about 2200 are research scientists. Charles Craig, Senior Vice President, Science & Technology Administration & Operations, Corning Research & Development Corporation spoke to us briefly about what Corning is up to and showed us prototypes that could make it to upcoming products developed by Corning.
We bet we saw Gorilla Glass 6 being tested somewhere in here, but Corning was tight-lipped about it, with good reason!