Corning has a new composite material that aims to combine the drop resistance of Gorilla Glass 4 with the incredible scratch resistance of sapphire. Dubbed Project Phire, the composite material is Corning’s next move in the world of smartphone glass. Corning’s Gorilla Glass has been used in most high-end smartphones for the past few years, but the company recently faced the loss of a major customer as Apple looked to transition to sapphire displays. Due to a series of problems with Apple’s sapphire provider, the company turned back to Gorilla Glass, but it was enough to get Corning busy developing a new technology.
While sapphire is extremely scratch resistant, it shatters easily, making it prone to drops. Corning’s Gorilla Glass is hardened for impact protection, but is quite susceptible to scratches, which easily occur when put in a pocket with keys. Project Phire takes the impact protection of Gorilla Glass 4 and combines it with a scratch resistance that’s nearly as strong as sapphire.
The composite material is still being developed, but Corning says that it plans to begin selling the material to manufacturers later this year.