Modern day smartphones are absolutely feature-rich. Not to mention their displays. Smartphone displays, too are turning into something else…until they shatter, sometimes. And since they’re packing stuff like AMOLED, and in-display fingerprint scanners, replacing them can be expensive…which is frustrating, too. But, a group of scientists seems to have found a solution to this. According to reports, researchers from McGill University have developed a new kind of shatterproof glass.
What is it?
The inspiration behind this the flexible properties of seashells, according to the scientists. “If you crack open an oyster, you will see the inside shimmering in a rainbow of colors. The smooth substance inside, called the ‘Mother of Pearl’, was the inspiration behind the shatterproof glass”, they explained.
It can bend like plastic. However, it will be capable to withstand shocks and external stresses. With these kinds of properties, the glass is also applicable in creating safer windows and strong windshields on automobiles. But after the recent Samsung Galaxy Fold debacle, researchers also think smartphones can make use of this technology on smartphones, especially, the new foldable ones.
How does it get its strength?
The Mother of Pearl inside the seashells is made up of brittle Calcium Carbonate. But the Calcium Carbonate is arranged in tiny hexagonal platelets joined by flexible biopolymers. So, they are tough and strong. When the material goes through some impact, the platelets slide over each other as the polymers stretch. So instead of shattering, the energy during the impact dissipates. In case of extreme forces, the platelets can completely deform and rip apart but cracks don’t spread like that on a typical glass panel. It also claims to be three times stronger than Tempered Glass and up to 24 times than your regular glass.
The material also features some notable properties of glass, like, being highly transparent and scratch resistant. But unlike the glasses, it has high resistant to impacts as well. So, we can expect it to replace the conventional glass.
This kind of glass is also cheap to produce, according to Francois Barthelat, a mechanical engineer at McGill University. So that it can even be used on the mainstream smartphone and upcoming foldable phones. If this turns out good, it can even supersede the popular Gorilla glasses.