Gorilla Glass 5 Smartphone Cover Glass | Consumer Electronics | Corning

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Testing the Limits of Glass

Testing the Limits of Glass

At Corning, we are constantly innovating to meet the needs of our customers and consumers with our materials science expertise. A prime example of this continuous innovation is our Corning® Gorilla® Glass product. Since its launch in 2007, we brought four more generations of our tough, damage-resistant cover glass to the consumer electronics industry. We’ve even tailored Gorilla Glass to meet new needs in different industries, including exciting applications in windshields and interior touchscreens in the automotive industry.

Our Materials Science Expertise and Rigorous Testing

So how is Corning able to innovate at such a pace and still consistently produce industry-leading products like Corning® Gorilla® Glass 5? The answer is our more than 160-year history of materials science expertise. This means our scientists not only know how to make the advanced materials we sell but also how to test them to ensure their adherence to tight customer specifications.

Because scientific standards indicate testing should simulate real-world events in a controlled environment, part of our expertise has become our ability to create tests in the lab that simulate real-world situations. This ability has served us well from the very first Gorilla Glass composition and continues to serve us today with the Gorilla Glass 5 and Gorilla Glass SR+ products.

How We Tested Gorilla Glass 5

A recent consumer survey identified cover glass breakage as the No. 1 consumer complaint, followed by scratching. These two common cover glass issues are influenced by glass composition and overall device design. One measure, hardness, provides some insight into scratch behavior. While another measure, retained strength, provides insight into breakage. Our scientists kept these elements in mind when creating the tests we used to develop Gorilla Glass 5.

Component Level Testing

At the component level – tests on the glass alone – we abraded our glass to mimic scratch damage that may occur in day-to-day activities, such as being carried in a pocket or purse. We call this test the purse tumble test – a consistent testing methodology used on prior versions of Gorilla Glass. Using software that precisely measures digital images, we see that Gorilla Glass 5 outperforms competitive aluminosilicate glasses, yielding a less damaged surface area: 0.4% vs. 1.1% damage to the glass.

System Level Testing

At the system level – tests of how the glass works within a device – we designed a carrier or “mock device” to imitate real-world device drops that often lead to cover glass breakage. In these tests, we dropped the carrier containing the glass onto sharp-contact surfaces, as well as surfaces that simulate sharp-contact damage (such as coarse, 180-grit sandpaper). In the past, system-level tests were performed on smooth surfaces. Corning scientists discovered that device drop testing on smooth surfaces does not adequately simulate field usage and failure conditions; rough surfaces like concrete and asphalt are the cause of the vast majority of drop breakage in the field.

These two types of testing help ensure that our glass continues to perform to meet and exceed industry standards. As our materials continue to evolve and change to address new challenges in even more varied industries, our testing methodology will continue to change.