Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Gorilla Glass

There's been quite a bit of buzz this week about Gorilla Glass made by Corning. I think this article by R & D Magazine captures a lot of good info that is otherwise not found - how it's made, when it was first made (the early 1960's), and why it took so long to commercialize it (it certainly wasn't for a lack of trying).

There are also a number of videos available showing testing of the glass. The link just provided shows 3-point bending, hardness testing (while looking through the backside of the glass at the stylus) and a non-scientific impact test.

The article also makes the comparison with fiber optic glass, a material that also had a very long commercializtion interval. Sadly, I we don't see too many cases of an old, shelved technology finally seeing its day in the sun.

Glass is an interesting material, in that while the long range motion of the molecules is prohibited, there is plenty of short range motion, in particular diffusion, that can occur. Chemical tempering, as is done in creating gorilla glass is one example, but I've also have worked with glass-ionomer composites in which polyvalent ions from the glass diffuse out and bind the acids sites from polyacrylic acid.

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