Glasses in smartphones continue to scratch. Why?

Every year, corporations update the characteristics of their gadgets: improved cameras, processors, RAM, and more. But one thing remains the same – low scratch resistance.

Yes, you did not think. Glasses are scratched more . We wrote about this far more than once. Even Nikita Goryainov noticed this back in 2016.

The situation almost does not change every year and is unlikely to change in the near future. But it is not glass manufacturers who are to blame for this, but those who assemble smartphones for us. Including, Apple.

Smartphone makers spoil everything

With each new generation, Corning infiltrates the glass in the chemical salt bath and introduces compressive stress into the inside of the glass. Since corporations are constantly demanding thinner glasses, companies have to use more and more “chemistry”, and their scratch resistance decreases.

The main way glassmakers strengthen glass is hardening , which is obtained either by an intensive heating process or by chemical treatment, such as the above-mentioned salt bath .

As Caltech materials science professor William L. Johnson explains, the more toughened glass is, the more prone it is to scratches.

Corning herself does not deny that their glass is still scratched, as before. The constant trend has been observed since 2014.

1 – put a weight of 1 kg on the sandpaper on top and pull it in one direction, 2 – linear abrasion (sandpaper is fixed on the shaft and twist), 3 – the smartphone is twisted for 15 minutes in a centrifuge

It is curious that during testing with linear abrasion, Gorilla Glass 3 glass looks less scratched than Gorilla Glass 4. And Gorilla Glass 5 is something between them in terms of wear.

It is impossible for the glass to be both impact resistant and scratch resistant.

Scratches begin as bends, which lead to permanent deformation. For scratch resistance, something non-curving is needed.

For resistance to damage, on the contrary, you need something curving.

In order for you to fulfill two conditions at once, you need to simultaneously bend and not bend glass. Good luck with that.

How scratch glass of different generations

During the sandpaper test, the glass of the 5th generation was especially scratched, the 3rd and 4th – about the same.

Gorilla Glass 6 scratched more than Gorilla Glass 5

Corning deliberately avoids unnecessary mentioning of the scratch resistance of its glass. Nevertheless, the company still conducts various tests and shares some results.

In the centrifuge test, the surface area of ​​Gorilla Glass 3 was damaged by 0.52%, while the surfaces of Gorilla Glass 4 and 5 were damaged by 0.39%. Therefore, we are seeing an improvement. True, no changes were found in the glasses of the 6th generation.

Curiously, in some of the other tests, Gorilla Glass 6 looks more scratched than Gorilla Glass 5.

And what, in general, there is no improvement?


Vice President Scott Forester said that in general their glass had become less resistant to scratching, but we would not see it with the naked eye.

Companies have to constantly look for a balance between thinness, hardness and scratch resistance . Manufacturers of smartphones always bet exactly on the subtleties.

Interestingly, Corning already deals with Glass SR + and DX + glasses used in the Samsung Galaxy Watch. They are more resistant to scratches. True, producing such larger glass is still problematic .

However, while corporations want thinner glasses, Corning will have to focus on impact resistance, but not on wear. Scratch the screens will continue, alas. The Verge ]

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