Gorilla Glass is considered the next best thing in touchscreen technology. This scratch-resistant fibre is used to make touchscreen displays for portable gadgets such as mobile phones, tablet computers and MP3 Players. It's designed to protect fragile screens against scratches, chips and cracks - but how strong is it really? This article explains more about the limits of Gorilla Glass, and gives tips on how to look after a touchscreen device.

The KNOWHOW

Pick an option from the list below to find out more:

Gorilla Glass: fact v. fiction
How to care for a Gorilla Glass screen
Is a damage-proof screen on the horizon?

Gorilla Glass: fact v. fiction

Gorilla Glass is often incorrectly described as scratch-proof - but there's a big difference between 'scratch-resistant' and 'scratch proof' glass:

  • A scratch-proof screen is impervious to scratches. This kind of technology isn't available yet - any glass can break if it is placed under enough stress. Gorilla Glass is NOT scratch-proof.
  • A scratch-resistant screen is much stronger than most screens. It is less likely to smash/crack if dropped, and less likely to scratch if scratched. Extreme force, very sharp objects, and repeated exposure to abrasive oils may leave scratches. Gorilla Glass IS scratch-resistant.
TRUE FALSE
More resistant to everyday wear-and-tear than other screen materials Can't be scratched, cracked, or dented. Gorilla Glass is more scratch-resistant than other touchscreen materials BUT it can be damaged
Better optical clarity than other types of touchscreen Thicker through reinforcement. Gorilla Glass is actually thinner than other touchscreens (0.5 - 2.5 mm thick). By removing imperfections in the glass fibre during the manufacturing process, the glass becomes stronger (not because it is made up of multiple layers)
Superior visual display (Gorilla Glass is thinner)  
Suitable for HD/3D displays  
Tougher than traditional screen materials - it won't crack as easily as other touchscreens  
More reactive to touch  

How to care for a Gorilla Glass screen

  • Everyday 'wear-and-tear' means gentle knocks and bumps, accidental scratches and occasional contact with pointy instruments
  • The 'scratch-resistant' label isn't a challenge, so try to avoid the following:
    • Dropping your device from a distance/onto a hard surface
    • Applying extreme force/pressure
    • Scratching the display with sharp objects (keys, knives, corkscrews, and scissors)
  • To protect your touchscreen, use:
    • A carry case for double protection - a hard shell works better than a fabric/leather casing. Hardback cases minimise the impact if you drop your device onto a hard surface
    • An invisible screen protector and waterproof spray treatment. These coatings form a protective barrier over the glass, insulating it against oily substances and keeping the screen smudge-free

NB: Gorilla Glass can be used to make the casing for a device, as well as for the visual display. This means that the back of your device may be made from the same fabric as the screen.

Is a damage-proof glass screen on the horizon?

Not yet - at the moment, all glass fibres are susceptible to damage. The company behind Gorilla Glass are constantly working to strengthen the fibre, but all glass is vulnerable. Making the glass as tough as possible is the best way forward.

The latest generation of Gorilla Glass (Gorilla Glass 2) is claimed to be 20% thinner, and more responsive to touchscreen commands than its predecessor. This means that the screen images are potentially brighter and more slimline in design.


Updated On:

Mar 27, 2012

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