|Image Courtesy: engadget.com|
Gorilla Glass is two to three times stronger than chemically strengthened versions of ordinary soda-lime glass, even when just half as thick. Its strength also means Gorilla can be thinner than a dime, saving on weight and shipping costs.
How tough is that and how practical it is to use??? watch this "Torture Test of Dell Streak's Gorilla Glass Screen"... i'm amused really...
An ultra-strong glass that has been looking for a purpose since its invention in 1962 is poised to become a multibillion-dollar bonanza for Corning Inc.
Corning set out in the late 1950s to find a glass as strong as steel. Dubbed Project Muscle, the effort combined heating and layering experiments and produced a robust yet bendable material called Chemcor.
Then in 1964, Corning devised an ingenious method called "fusion draw" to make super-thin, unvaryingly flat glass. It pumped hot glass into a suspended trough and allowed it to overflow and run down either side. The glass flows then meet under the trough and fuse seamlessly into a smooth, hanging sheet of glass.
To make Chemcor, Corning ran the sheets through a "tempering" process that set up internal stresses in the material. The same principle is behind the toughness of Pyrex glass, but Chemcor was tempered in a chemical bath, not by heat treatment.
Corning thought Chemcor sheets created this way would be the material of choice in car windshields, but British rival Pilkington Bros. intervened with a far cheaper mass-production approach. And another Chemcor adaptation in photochromic sunglasses also fizzled in the retail market.
The 159-year-old glass pioneer is ramping up production of what it calls Gorilla glass, expecting it to be the hot new face of touch-screen tablets and high-end TVs.
Gorilla showed early promise in the '60s, but failed to find a commercial use, so it's been biding its time in a hilltop research lab for almost a half-century. It picked up its first customer in 2008 and has quickly become a $170 million a year business as a protective layer over the screens of 40 million-plus cell phones and other mobile devices.
Now, the latest trend in TVs could catapult it to a billion-dollar business: Frameless flat-screens that could be mistaken for chic glass artwork on a living-room wall.
Because Gorilla is very hard to break, dent or scratch, Corning is betting it will be the glass of choice as TV-set manufacturers dispense with protective rims or bezels for their sets, in search of an elegant look.