Corning’s new endeavour, dubbed “Project Phire,” aims to produce a material that combines the toughness of Gorilla Glass and the scratch-resistant properties of sapphire. Although Gorilla Glass has always been marketed as a “tough” material to break, scratch-resistance has always been an issue with it.
In the past, the President of Corning Glass Technologies, James Clappin, has mentioned that “sapphire was great for scratch performance but didn’t fare well when dropped.” But now, with Project Phire, the company plans to change this.
So, we created a product that offers the same superior damage resistance and drop performance of Gorilla Glass 4 with scratch resistance that approaches sapphire.
While this new project does sound promising, it’s worth noting that no actual demonstration of the new product has been made public. We probably won’t be seeing this new material in the near future, although Corning said that it will be selling it “later this year.”
More likely than not, this new project from Corning is probably fuelled by Apple’s investment in GT Advanced Technologies Inc to supply sapphire glass displays on its iPhones. Although this deal eventually ended up badly for both Apple and the relatively unknown sapphire manufacturing company, it can’t be denied that sapphire displays are sought after.
It’s interesting how Corning will be developing a new material not long after it has announced the Gorilla Glass 4. Perhaps Project Phire is merely the code name of the next iteration of Gorilla Glass.