Asahi Glass Company introduces Dragontrail scratch-proof glass
Even before the wider usage of touch-screen devices, there was a need for scratch-proof glass materials which protect the screens of our favorite gadgets. The folks from Asahi Glass Company (AGC), Japan’s largest glass maker, announced they will launch worldwide sales of Dragontrail – a glass material that is highly receptive to chemical strengthening, to respond to surging global demands for high-quality cover glass used for screens on electronic devices.
Chemically strengthened Dragontrail is six times stronger than conventional soda-lime glass, highly resistant to scratches and features a more pristine finish compared to resin. Dragontrail, developed from market-proven raw glass for chemical strengthening, is free of environmentally harmful materials such as arsenic, lead and antimony.
AGC uses a highly efficient float process to manufacture Dragontrail by utilizing the company’s extensive technical expertise in producing specialized glass for electronics acquired through manufacturing TFT glass substrates. The superior production efficiency of this manufacturing process ensures stable supply of cover glass for the growing global mobile device market. AGC will also proactively respond to growing demand for cover glass used in televisions.
“Dragontrail is a strategic product that will build new foundations for growth under Grow Beyond, our management policy”, said Yoshiaki Tamura, Deputy President of AGC’s Electronics Company unit. “We will continue to explore new applications for this versatile product as we expand its global market.”
The demand for cover material is growing in parallel with the increased demand for smartphones, tablet PCs and other devices, which feature designs where touch-screen panels cover the majority of their surfaces. These mobile devices require protection against shocks and grazing resulting from touch operation, accidental drops and scraping inside a pocket or bag.
AGC’s Dragontrail offers a substitute to conventional cover material, such as soda-lime glass, which lacks strength, and resin, which is prone to scratches and limited by poor texture quality. They claim it will be available in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 0.5mm to over 5mm.
By 2012, AGC expects to achieve sales of over 30 billion yen (about 360 million USD) in the global market for chemically strengthened cover glass used in smartphones, tablet PCs, TVs and similar devices.