Corning® Gorilla® Glass Adds Elegance to TV Design

The current trend toward thinner televisions is not particularly new.  Since their introduction in the 1920s, TVs have migrated from large wooden cabinets that sat on the living room floor, to the current thin flat-panel displays that can be mounted on walls.  And the recent advent of LED-backlighting has driven LCD TVs thinner than ever.  To help panel makers further this trend, Corning’s cover glass enables the removal of a set’s plastic bezel, creating a full-glass front.  Now, TVs can look more like pieces of art than furniture.

“Previously, using a cover glass did not add much value because the bezel was a small proportion of the TV,” said John Bayne, program director, TV Cover Glass.  “But when the TV set is 0.5 inches or 0.75 inches thick, taking off the bezel has a noticeable impact on the design.”

Corning’s solution for the TV market is Gorilla Glass, which has already become the cover glass of choice in the handheld and portable display industry.

Gorilla Glass, a chemically strengthened alkali-aluminosilicate glass, makes an excellent cover because of its high optical clarity and material strength.  An ion-exchange process creates a high level of compressive stress at a deep level within the glass, while allowing it to remain thin and lightweight.  Meanwhile, Gorilla’s high optical clarity minimizes optical (or light) distortion, making it ideal for 3D capable TVs.   

“The secret of Gorilla Glass is a combination of high compressive stress, depth of layer and glass composition that contributes to the damage resistance,” Bayne said.  “Even if Gorilla Glass is damaged, it retains a high level of durability.”

Given the level of demand for Gorilla Glass, Corning is expanding its Shizuoka, Japan facility to accommodate the necessary production processes. 

“One advantage of Gorilla Glass is that it is made with Corning’s proprietary fusion-draw process, making it adaptable to scalable sheet sizes for optimal throughput,” said Arthur Mitsuhashi, president, Corning Japan K.K..  “We’re also adding additional value with features, such as printing and anti-reflective film.”

Screen printing creates a black border that conceals components normally hidden by the TV’s bezel. It also allows for setmaker branding to be printed directly on the glass.

“A hallmark of Corning is the collaboration between our research scientists and our engineers in order to address process challenges,” said Emily Simon, product line manager, TV Cover Glass business.  “The success we have seen with scaling Gorilla Glass is no exception.”