Tougher Gorilla Glass 3 means more-scratch-proof screens

Corning's upcoming screens for smartphones, laptops, and tablets are three times better at preventing serious scratches.

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Corning's goal: to shatter its own status quo when it comes to the strength of its Gorilla Glass screens for consumer electronics.

At CES, the glass maker will debut Gorilla Glass 3, the company's latest effort in the daily battle against scratched, splintered, and shattered device screens.

By studying glass' atomic structure and bonding properties, Corning's team was able to "invent another kind of glass" that makes the substance less brittle, and less prone to scratches, says David Velasquez, Gorilla Glass' director of marketing and commercial operations.

Corning terms this additional fortitude "native damage resistance"; the upshot is that the tip of your key or a rock on the ground will have to exert three times the amount of force to gouge the display.

Although Corning is concerned mostly about deep scratches -- they look bad and their radiating pattern can lead to future breaks -- the company also credits Gorilla Glass 3 with reducing scratch visibility by 40 percent.

In addition, Velasquez claims that the new screen formula improves the display's resistance to future breaks by 50 percent.

The company, which is also known for cookware, has much to boast about. In November, it announced sales of more than 1 billion Gorilla Glass devices on more than 975 different device models -- including smartphones, tablets, notebooks, and TVs.

So where do you sign up for a Gorilla Glass 3 smartphone? Nowhere just yet, according to Velasquez.

"You'll start to see new product announcements within a couple months after CES," he said. No new products will feature Gorilla Glass 3 at the show, but Corning has sampled its tougher glass with customers (read: device manufacturers like Asus and Samsung), which in turn test the displays in their own punishing labs before placing orders.

Now if only Corning would formulate a substance that's also smudge-resistant.

We'll try to get our only semi-grubby hands on a sharp-tipped implement and a sample of Gorilla Glass 3 at CES. In the meantime, enjoy our brute-strength slideshow dedicated to Gorilla Glass 2, the version of Corning's chemically reinforced glass that emerged at last year's CES.

Trying to break Gorilla Glass at Corning's CA facilitiy
Corning's Gorilla Glass is certainly stronger than the typical stuff. Lynn La/CNET
About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

 

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