Why Gorilla Glass 5 Can Still Get Scratched Despite Its Durability

Gorilla Glass, a specialized glass developed by Corning, has become a staple in the smartphone industry, providing protection against impacts and damage. However, the latest iteration, Gorilla Glass 5, has faced some criticism for its susceptibility to scratches, despite its touted durability.

The Trade-off Between Scratch Resistance and Drop Protection

The dilemma lies in the inherent properties of glass and the market demands for smartphone design. Corning, the manufacturer of Gorilla Glass, has prioritized drop resilience over scratch resistance in recent iterations of the glass. This decision is driven by the initial request from Steve Jobs to create a durable glass cover for the iPhone, which prompted the development of the first Gorilla Glass.

As smartphone manufacturers demand sleeker and thinner designs, Corning has had to enhance the strength of the glass to maintain drop durability. This process involves introducing internal stress through chemical treatments, which makes the glass more resistant to falls but more susceptible to scratches.

The Limitations of Gorilla Glass 5

Gorilla Glass 5 is designed to be particularly resistant against drops, but it does not offer the same level of scratch resistance as previous generations. Corning’s internal assessments have revealed that the scratch resistance of Gorilla Glass has remained stagnant since 2014, despite improvements in drop resilience.

The process of tempering, which involves intense heat or chemical baths, reinforces the glass and makes it more flexible and drop-resistant. However, this can also compromise the glass’s hardness, a crucial factor in resisting scratches.

Users have reported that Gorilla Glass 5 can easily accumulate scratches from everyday use, such as placing the phone in a pocket with keys or coins. While the glass may be able to withstand drops, it is not as resistant to scratches as some users might expect.

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