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  • Corning Unveils "Project Phire," Its New Ultra Scratch-Resistant Glass


    Corning recently unveiled its “Project Phire,” which is a glass composite that the company says it’s just as strong and drop-resistant as its latest Gorilla Glass but almost as scratch-resistant as sapphire glass as well. Corning executives James Clappin had the following to say regarding the matter at Project Phire’s unveiling at a recent investor event:

    We told you last year that sapphire was great for scratch performance but didn't fare well when dropped. So, we created a product that offers the same superior damage resistance and drop performance of Gorilla Glass 4 with scratch resistance that approaches sapphire.
    Clappin added that Project Phire is set to go on sale later this year but declined to make any further comments regarding the matter.

    For those of you who didn’t know, Corning’s Gorilla Glass business has been under assault over the past few months from sapphire activists who want to see the mercurial material replace hardened glass in smartphones. Apple attempted to make such a move themselves after striking a $578 million deal with GT Advanced Technologies but the deal famously ended up as a bust. Apple’s interest in the material was later revealed to be explained with the unveiling of the Apple Watch, which reportedly uses sapphire in some models.

    Sapphire is in actuality extremely hard and scratch resistant but also quite brittle and shatters relatively easily. The material is also reportedly very hard to work with. Vertu executive Hutch Hutchinson mentioned the following regarding the topic:

    As with any high-tech material, sapphire crystal has its own unique set of problems. It is slow, expensive and energy intensive to produce. It can take two weeks to grow each boules and the yield from each is low. It is also very difficult to cut, grind and polish; diamond tools have to be used for all of these processes.
    The recent announcement of its new composite material comes just a few months after the unveiling of Gorilla Glass 4, a new generation of the strengthened glass that Corning claims will survive drops onto rough surfaces up to 80% of the time. As a reference, for those of you who may not already know, the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus come with Gorilla Glass 3 so many consumers don’t even know the effectiveness of Corning’s new offerings.

    We’ll have to wait and see what Apple decides to use in its future iOS products.

    Source: CNET
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      Another minus to using sapphire is that the advanced anti-smudge coating wont stick to it. This is why your iPhone screen looks clean while your sapphire Home button is an oily mess and the TouchID sensor degrades over time unless you diligently wipe it clean.

      Sapphire just isn't worth it.