Foldable phones are just starting to enter the mainstream with the Samsung Galaxy Fold leading the charge for this new smartphone innovation. Gorilla Glass is one term that has been synonymous with smartphones for the last decade or so. With a new folding screen revolution at hand, the makers of Gorilla Glass, Corning, is not one to be left behind.
One big thing people have noticed with these new folding phone screens is that as of now, they’re not actually folding, they just bend. The Galaxy Fold doesn’t actually fold straight, instead the plastic polymers screens are hinged in the middle, allowing the two screens to open and close like a Nintendo DS. This makes the Galaxy Fold and its contemporaries not being able to fold completely flat.
These plastic polymers are more prone to nicks and scratches, something that Gorilla Glass was never known for. With Gorilla Glass being the industry standard for a while now, it’s no surprise that the folks at Corning are looking to capitalise on this. To achieve this, Corning is looking at a rollable screen solution, similar to the Willow screen, only enhanced with the hallmarks of a Gorilla Glass.
The foldable Gorilla Glass that Corning is working on currently is 0.1 millimeter thick and can bend to a 5 millimeter radius, though the main challenge being the fickle makeup of glass. How do you create a glass that is dense enough to bend but doesn’t crack under its own weight? Well, that’s exactly what Corning is aiming to do, though don’t expect it just yet.
Give it another few years, especially when foldable phones have become the norm in the realm of smartphones. More info can be seen on Wired’s interview with Corning’s head of Gorilla Glass, John Bayne.