Foldable smartphones are amazing, pinnacles of modern hand-held consumer technology, stunning demonstrations of human ingenuity and our persistent push for something better. That is until your fingernail touches the screen at the wrong angle, leaving a permanent mark on the plastic screen of a device that costs over $1,500 to buy.
LG wants to clean that last staining spot of the tech, and has now presented a new screen material that feels like glass, is as hard as glass, but which can still fold around 200,000 times without succumbing to material fatigue. Moreover, the Koreans claim their new material will significantly improve the fold creases at the folding points, making them shallower and thus less apparent or disruptive.
The new screen tech is called ‘Real Folding Window’, and it relies on the application of specially developed proprietary coating materials that make the surface of the underlying thin and durable PET (plastic) film as hard as glass. These coatings aren’t applied on the folding point, so this stays flexible, as needed. As LG Chem said, this is nothing like the existing polyimide and crashed tempered glass “blends” that are used by others right now.
LG even goes a step further, suggesting that the coating itself could be used on its own without an underlying PET film in cases of super-thin devices. Moreover, the ‘Real Folding Window’ isn’t limited to folding only inwardly, as outward folding is also possible without making any difference in performance or durability.
According to market survey firm ‘Omdia’, the foldable market is expected to grow very quickly over the next five years, going from 3.5 million units in 2020 to 50 million by 2026. Market analyst ‘Counterpoint’ predicts the shipments of these devices to grow tenfold by 2023 compared to this year, so everyone agrees there’s a big margin for growth.
Image & Article Source: LG Chem