New Dragontrail Glass Could Strengthen Smartphone, Tablet Screens

AGC, one of Japan’s largest glass manufacturers, has created a new glass designed specifically for smartphones, tablets, and TVs. This new glass, known as Dragontrail, is said to be considerably tougher than traditional glass. According to the company, Dragontrail is about six times tougher than typical chemically-treated soda lime glass. It is also highly scratch resistant. During a recent press conference, AGC invited reporters to attempt to scratch the glass with a key. The glass didn’t appear to suffer any scratches. It was also dropped and did not break.

AGC Unveils Damage-Resistant Dragontrail™ Glass
for Smartphone, Tablet PC, TV Makers Worldwide

Tokyo, January 20, 2011 - AGC announced today it 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. 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.

Chemically strengthened Dragontrail is six times stronger than conventional soda-lime glass, highly resistant to scratches and features a beautiful, pristine finish compared with 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 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 rapid proliferation of smartphones, tablet PCs and other devices, many of which feature designs where touchscreen 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 superior 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.