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Discover what made the future: Gorilla Glass

Most of us make contact with Gorilla Glass on a daily basis, in fact, you are most probably reading this post through some form of Gorilla Glass.

Gorilla Glass is Corning’s brand of strengthened glass. There are a few versions of strengthening glass on the market but Gorilla Glass is unique to Corning. Glass is notoriously fragile which is a challenge because we use it daily. Gorilla Glass was designed to be thin but still damage resistant.

Gorilla Glass is almost exclusively used for mobile devices and television screens. These thin sheets of glass are enhanced by going through a high temperature, potassium-salt, ion-exchange bath. This ion-exchange bath replaces the sodium that is present in the initial glass sheet with a stronger potassium charged layer. The temperature of this bath is up to 400 degrees Celsius which breaks the sodium bond with the glass.

The first experiments were done in 1960 by Corning under the name “Project Muscle”. Their first chemically enhanced glass came about not long after. There wasn’t much use for it for almost 50 years until 2005 when they started investigating its usefulness for electronics, this was done due to Apple pursuing thin, tough glass.

Presently there are somewhere over 5 billion devices that contain Gorilla Glass. The 5th generation of Gorilla Glass is now on the market with car manufacturers such as Ford adopting the glass for its Ford GT range.

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