New super-tough glass strengthens gadget screens

The super-tough glass will go up against Corning's Gorilla glass in the portable gadget market

One of Japan's largest glass manufacturers debuted on Thursday a new glass designed for smartphones and tablet PCs that is considerably tougher than conventional glass.

Asahi Glass said its Dragontrail glass is about six times as tough as typical chemically-treated soda lime glass and should be better suited to the rough-and-tumble life to which portable gadgets are subjected.

At a Tokyo news conference, reporters were invited to attempt scratching a sheet of the glass with a key. Despite exerting considerable pressure, the glass didn't appear to suffer any damage. It was also dropped without breaking. (Watch the video on YouTube.)

The company also showed videos of tests it had done on the glass. It bent but didn't break under 60kgs of weight and resisted the shock of a hammer strike in the videos.

Tough glass doesn't just mean gadgets are less likely to suffer broken screens. Because the glass is tougher, manufacturers can get away with using thinner sheets and that helps products slim down and get lighter.

The glass will go up against Corning's Gorilla glass, which boasts similar properties and has proved a hit with portable gadget makers. It's already used in more than 225 mobile devices including cell phones, laptop and tablet PCs, and was recently selected by Sony for the front glass for its flat-panel LCD TVs, said Corning.

Asahi Glass has been developing Dragontrail for the last two years and the company has already begun supplying it to some electronics makers, but delayed its disclosure until Thursday. It declined to identify its customers.

The company expects sales of Dragontrail glass will surpass ¥30 billion (US$365 million) in 2012 and continue to grow with the fast-expanding gadget market. It's hoping for an eventual 30 percent share of the glass market for consumer electronics.

Martyn Williams covers Japan and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Martyn on Twitter at @martyn_williams. Martyn's e-mail address is martyn_williams@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags gadgetsDragontrailComponentsAsahi Glassglass

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?