“Your phone drops onto cold tiles, landing face down. A knot twists in your stomach as you reach for the phone…”
Normally that story would end with a smashed screen and the hunt for the warranty documentation; but now after recent research in Japan, fragile glass could soon be a thing of the past.
Smashed screens are one of the most common faults for mobile devices, an often occurrence even for the most careful of end users. Whilst many mobile devices come with scratch and impact resistance certifications, as well as several aftermarket options available; no phonescreen is invulnerable from cracks and smashes. However researchers at the University of Tokyo are determined to change this with glass they have deemed to be nearly unbreakable.
How do you create such a miracle invention? Aluminum Oxide.
What Aluminum Oxide does when combined with the advanced manufacturing technique called Aerodynamic Levitation (floating the glass and alumina particles via oxygen and heating with carbon dioxide lasers, is it creates a glass/metal hybrid. The resulting super glass is incredibly strong and also incredibly hard – meaning it that not only would it be highly impact resistant, it would also be very scratch resistant as the aluminum oxide Al2O3 used in the process is second only to diamonds in hardness.
The applications for such a glass wouldn’t stop at just mobile devices. This technique could also be applied to architectural, automotive or possibly even medical applications. The researchers are aiming for commercialising the semi-metal glass in 5 years, so you may not be seeing ultra tough phones and tablets in stores such as JB Hi-Fi in the new Eastland shopping centre for a few years yet. In the mean time, if you have any questions or problems regarding the screens in your mobile devices, feel free to send a call or email our way