Apple has been devising a plan to strengthen the glass used in its portable devices, such as the iPhone. The company recently patented a new crack resistant glass solution for its upcoming portable devices.
The crack resistant technology includes a tunable shock mount that is situated between the glass and the body of the actual divice. This mount can be inflated in an instant if the device senses a drop, which is determined by its internal accelerometer.
Small devices such as iPhones and iPods are easy to drop – chances are you have dropped your own at least once in the past. When these devices are created, they are made using layers. The new technology will include a display technology layer and a sensing layer or window to help remedy the possibility of resistant glass.
The cover window for these devices will still be made of glass – mostly because they are scratch resistant (which trumps the possibility of plastic), and are clearer. However, we also know it can easily break if we drop it. But if they just thicken it up (to make it stronger), it will result in a thicker device itself, which, generally, isn’t really the norm these days. Instead, companies (Apple included) are trying to make everything thinner and lighter).
So, Apple’s solution is to create a shock mount and integrate it into the device. According to Patently Apple, the new invention’s patent includes apparatus, systems and methods for shock mounting a cover glass for the device. This will cover glasses and displays for the smaller devices, such as the iPods, iPhone, and remotes, however, it may also eventually apply to the larger items, such as the MacBooks, iMac, displays, and iPad.
Apple says that this invention is also advantageous because the devices will be protected by water damage.
The tunable shock mount itself may provide compression and dampening, so if the device is dropped, it is protected.
The invention includes the use of alumino silicate glass. Commercially known as Gorilla Glass, the devices already use these, but it will be incorporated into this new idea, as well. Other glasses may include sodalime and borosilicate, which will make the glass resistant to thermal shock. As well, the glass pieces may be chemically treated for further strengthening, and which will result in higher compression stresses at the surface of the cover glass pieces.
For more details and possibilities, read the full article from Patently Apple.