Tap or drag a finger across your phone tablet and you are probably stroking a gorilla – a piece of Gorilla Glass from one of the most innovative glass manufacturers on the planet, Corning. Gorilla Glass is riding high on the touch screen revolution of the past decade. Like its namesake, Gorilla Glass is strong, hard, scratch resistant and recyclable. Hundreds of millions of touch sensitive devices in use today contain Gorilla Glass.
According to Corning, as of October 2012, Gorilla Glass is currently featured on more than 33 major brands, designed into more than 900 product models, and is used in over one billion electronics devices world-wide. Ultra-thin Gorilla Glass’s unique chemistry and durable composition offers numerous benefits for small and large format touch screen displays in a variety of applications including consumer and industrial electronics, avionics and automobiles. How about an advanced multi-touch 82-inch LCD Gorilla Glass panel television?
General research and development began in the 1960’s with small-scale rollout “Chemcor” glass. The product was never put into mass production and ultimately saw only limited use in about one hundred 1968 Dodge Dart and Plymouth Barracuda race cars.
Flash forward to 2006. Steve Jobs contacted Wendell Weeks, CEO of Corning, and described his need for a scratch-resistant, touch sensitive glass for a full-screened iPhone then in development. The collaboration was a success with Apple rolling out its industry shaking iPhone in 2007 using 1.3 millimeter thick pane of Gorilla Glass. Building upon the iPhone’s success, Corning began supplying Gorilla Glass to every major manufacturer of electronics products in the world. Corning’s approach to innovation and corporate memory was vindicated.
In 2012 Corning introduced Gorilla Glass 2 at the International Consumer Electronics Show. The new glass is up to 20 percent thinner while equally as strong and scratch resistant as its predecessor. The thinner glass meets the needs of thinner devices, more touch sensitivity, and increased flexibility for designers.
A major benefactor of the next generation Gorilla Glass is Microsoft, which is using the product in its Touch tablet featuring Windows. Corning has also developed a product called Lotus Glass. It possesses similar attributes to Gorilla Glass and is also flexible. Corning sees the products working in tandem to enable wider and more creative applications.
In addition to toughness, scratch-resistance and width, Gorilla Glass has other attributes and applications that contribute to its popularity. According to Corning, the surface quality is unparalleled. A proprietary fusion process contributes to its’ environmental friendliness and it can be customized to a wide variety of needs. Gorilla Glass expands the horizons for sleek and sophisticated design to include architecture and automobiles.
Innovations like Gorilla Glass are nothing new to Corning. The company fosters a culture of research and innovation even when financially on the ropes. Walk around their plant today and you will see all sorts of high tech materials just waiting for that new idea. After all, who would have thought of putting a gorilla in your phone?