On February 11, Samsung officially introduced the Galaxy Z Flip foldable smartphone world, along with a statement that they “has overcome the laws of physics by bending glass,” hence “Upgraded screen technology for folding smartphones from flexible plastic to ultra-thin glass”.
This new glass is called Samsung UTG, short for Ultra Thin Glass. According to what Samsung claims, they “It is impossible to create an ultra-thin foldable glass, and it will help protect your screen from scratches.”
But just over a week later, when the Galaxy Z Flip officially arrived, many problems of this phone were revealed. First, Special dust shield designed for Samsung Galaxy Z Flip completely bundled in front of fine dust. Monday, The Galaxy Z Flip’s UTG glass still needs to be protected by a plastic layer on it, and the scratch resistance of both the protective layer and the UTG glass is impermeable.
An unfortunate guy broke the Z Flip’s screen right after receiving the goods
But Samsung doesn’t lie, anyway, because the Galaxy Z Flip is truly a folding smartphone that uses a glass screen. And indeed, with this phone, Samsung has done what many previously thought impossible – using glass as a flexible material.
The users themselves are doubts or allegations about “Samsung Galaxy Z Flip’s glass screen is not actually glass,” Perhaps it also made us realize that in the minds of many people, using glass as a screen for a folding smartphone is impossible.
However, the theory behind this technology is actually very simple.
“We can bend any material, as long as it’s thin enough.”
“One of the myths that many people encounter is that it is believed that glass and glass are weak materials, so they break easily.”
Mathias Mydlak, a chemist from Schott glass manufacturing group in Germany, said: “All the hard materials we know can bend, as long as it’s thin enough. For example, you can’t bend a 2×4 piece of wood, but if you scrap a thin layer of wood then that wood It’s completely bendable. It’s the same with glass. “
Imagine, two atoms are connected by an iron spring, and this spring will stretch when the two atoms are stretched in two directions. However, as long as they remain within the limit, the spring that connects the two atoms will be able to restore the original state.
In other words, when you bend an ultra-thin glass, there are fewer chemical bonds that are bent, which makes them harder to break. In physics, this threshold is called tensile strength.
According to physics experts, when you can create a layer of glass that is less than 100 microns thick – the thickness of a hair – this glass can be used for basic folding devices. If you want to create a phone that folds in without too much space, you need a much thinner glass.
In fact, modern technology has allowed us to create such thin glass. From four years ago, Schott was able to create thin glass sheets of only about 70 microns. According to Samsung, the glass they use for the Z Flip is much thinner than that, when it’s only 30 microns thick. At the present time, under laboratory conditions, Schott was able to create glass sheets with a thickness of about 25 microns.
But ultra-thin is just a contributing factor for us to bend glass. Another condition required for a glass to be used in products such as the Z Flip is perfection. Just a single dust particle, a microscopic air bubble, or a scratch, is more than enough to destroy this glass as soon as we bend it.
“Often the pressure that occurs when we bend the glass is concentrated at such imperfections, and that’s where cracks cause our thin glass to break.”
That’s why it takes a lot of chemical and thermal processing to create a thin layer of glass that is “perfect” enough to use for products like the Galaxy Z Flip. However, these processes also make this layer of glass becomes much more scratch resistant. And for such a thin layer of glass, even a small scratch can destroy the entire glass. This is probably also the reason why the screen of the Galaxy Z Flip is covered with another layer of plastic screen protector.
In a way, the plastic covering this layer is a “sacrifice” to endure scratches instead of glass. According to some experts, thanks to this plastic layer, Samsung has minimized the risk of having to return the Galaxy Z Flip because of a screen error.
In fact, Schott is also the glass manufacturer Samsung has chosen for the Galaxy Z Flip phone. However, the company’s representative said it was not clear how Samsung intervened and “reinforced” the ultra-thin glass. According to what Samsung announced on Wednesday, it has “reinforced” the glass of Schott “a special material to ensure the durability of the screen”. This is basically just a generic explanation like this “It simply works.” Apple only.
In addition to Schott, Samsung has another partner in the production of Galaxy Z Flip displays, which is South Korea’s Dowoo Insys. And it seems that both Dowoo and Schott’s technology is being applied to Samsung by this new phone.
However, all of this raises other questions: If these ultra-thin glass is not scratch resistant and it cannot be scratched, so do the research effort to use glasses. ? Why not continue using plastic as before?
The first is that the quality of images displayed on glass screens will of course be much better than plastic displays. Second, in standard conditions, the glass screen will also be more durable than the plastic screen. Moreover, the user experience on Z Flip’s glass screens seems to be “more” than the Galaxy Fold screen.
Moreover, the technology of the foldable glass screen is still in the beginning stages. According to the manufacturer of toughened glass Gorilla Glass Corning, most likely only one or two years, the plastic screen protector will no longer be needed. According to the company, new bendable glasses have all been made available to manufacturers, and they can completely turn the promise of “durable, scratch resistant, as well as ensure display quality” into truth.
At present, the biggest difficulty of the technology of producing ultra-thin glass is that there is still no optimal method to create a mass production line. How to cut, package, as well as transport these ultra-thin glass so they are not broken in the middle of the road is still a difficult problem to solve.
As for Samsung, it’s easy to understand why the group is trying to pursue folding screen technology like that, when at a recent press conference, Samsung also revealed its ambition to do so. Distributor of folding screens for other phone manufacturers in the market.
And perhaps, when this technology is perfected, the smartphone industry will turn to a new page.
According to The Verge