Gorilla Glass has been a mainstream feature of many smartphones since the launch of the first-generation Gorilla Glass back in 2008. In 2016, Corning launched Gorilla Glass 5. Two years after Gorilla Glass 5, the company has now announced Gorilla Glass 6—its most durable glass yet.
Corning states that Gorilla Glass 6 is built on a decade-long legacy of delivering the “toughest glass available” for consumer mobile glass devices. The company referenced a recent worldwide Toluna consumer study, which revealed that on average, people drop their phones seven times a year, with more than 50 percent of the drops occurring at 1 meter or below. To improve cover glass performance, Corning scientists developed and engineered “an entirely new material” to address the problem of multiple drops.
The company states that in lab tests, Gorilla Glass 6 survived 15 drops from 1 meter onto rough surfaces, and is “up to two times better” than Gorilla Glass 5. Competitive glass compositions such as soda lime and aluminosilicate did not survive the first drop under the same test conditions.
With respect to scratch resistance, Corning states that Gorilla Glass 6 will have the same level of scratch resistance as its predecessor .
Interestingly, Corning notes that in addition to larger front displays with more surface area, mobile device makers are embracing phone designs with glass backs (for better or worse ). According to the company, these designs are providing “new features and applications” for consumers such as wireless charging, larger screen sizes with smaller bezels, and customization through printed glass backs. (It should be noted that linking larger screen sizes with the adoption of glass backs is a questionable idea, and customization through printed glass blacks is not currently provided by device makers.)
Gorilla Glass 6 can enable these new design trends thanks to its optical clarity, touch sensitivity, scratch resistance, efficient wireless charging, and enhanced durability. In addition to addressing drop height and drop frequency, the company states that Gorilla Glass 6 was also developed to meet the requirements of modern (fragile) designs that use glass for more than 85 percent of the enclosure. Glass is “on the right side of the technology curve” with its “aesthetic and performance advantages,” according to the company, and it will “continue to be the material of choice for mobile consumer electronics.”
Gorilla Glass 6 improves upon Gorilla Glass 5 by surviving drops from higher heights, and it has been engineered to survive multiple drops. The company describes it as “an entirely new glass composition that can be chemically strengthened to give it significantly higher levels of compression than is possible with Gorilla Glass 5.” According to Corning, this enables Gorilla Glass 6 to be more resistant to damage and also helps the likelihood of survival through multiple drops.
Corning notes that Gorilla Glass has been designed into more than six billion devices by more than 45 major brands. Gorilla Glass 6 is currently being evaluated by multiple consumers, according to the company. It’s expected to reach the market in “the next several months.”