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Foldable Display Material Protects Smartphones, Increases Flexibility

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SEOUL, South Korea, Sept. 24, 2021 — A cover window for foldable IT devices designed by LG Chem uses newly developed coating technology to make the display surface as hard as glass and the folding parts of the display as flexible as plastic. The coating material protects the display from impact and is highly transmissive.

LG Chem combined new and existing materials to create a cover window with improved durability and flexibility, the developers said. They coated the new material on both sides with a layer of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) film, just a few dozen microns thick, to enhance the material’s heat resistance and mechanical properties.

The materials technology is called the Real Folding Window. Although the Real Folding Window is thinner than windows made from tempered glass, it has the same degree of hardness and is strong enough to prevent the screen from cracking.

The company expects to have mass production capabilities in place by 2022 and begin selling the Real Folding Window in 2023.

According to a global market survey from Omdia, the foldable phone market is expected to grow to 50 million units by 2026.

To meet future demand for ultrathin foldable phones and rollable IT devices, LG Chem is developing foldable window coating technologies that will not require PET films.

The makers of the Real Folding Window used new materials technology to develop a coating for a cover window that protects the window from cracking while giving the screen the flexibility to fold in two directions. Courtesy of LG Chem.
The makers of the Real Folding Window used new materials technology to develop a coating for a cover window that protects the window from cracking while giving the screen the flexibility to fold in two directions. Courtesy of LG Chem.
The developers also improved the fold lines in the window’s flexible display. While existing cover windows are optimized to allow the screen to fold inward only, the Real Folding Window, in addition to in-folding, can be used to fold the screen outward. The window remains durable even after it has been folded more than 200,000 times, the developers said.

LG Chem believes that its new materials technology can provide foldable phones with maximum flexibility while addressing standing issues like fold impressions on the connecting part of the screen.

The company said that it has already received proposals for joint projects from multiple clients.


Photonics.com
Sep 2021
GLOSSARY
electronics
That branch of science involved in the study and utilization of the motion, emissions and behaviors of currents of electrical energy flowing through gases, vacuums, semiconductors and conductors, not to be confused with electrics, which deals primarily with the conduction of large currents of electricity through metals.
glass
A noncrystalline, inorganic mixture of various metallic oxides fused by heating with glassifiers such as silica, or boric or phosphoric oxides. Common window or bottle glass is a mixture of soda, lime and sand, melted and cast, rolled or blown to shape. Most glasses are transparent in the visible spectrum and up to about 2.5 µm in the infrared, but some are opaque such as natural obsidian; these are, nevertheless, useful as mirror blanks. Traces of some elements such as cobalt, copper and...
optical materials
Materials that, by virtue of their optical characteristics (i.e. refractive index, dispersion, etc.), are used in optical elements. See crystal; glass; plastic lens.
DisplayselectronicscomponentsmaterialsBusinessphonesglassplasticsFoldable DisplayAsia Pacificcoatingsthin filmsprotective coatingscommercialLG Chemchemicalscover windowsmarketoptical materialsOptical Materials & Coatings

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