Samsung Display recently developed an "unbreakable" screen for smartphones and it has now been certified by UL (Underwriters Laboratories), an official testing company for OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the US Department of Labor. Outside of smartphones, Samsung says its flexible display will find residence in other electronic devices, such as display consoles for automobiles, portable game consoles, tablets, and mobile military devices.
Unlike traditional smartphone displays, Samsung's creation ditches the glass casing and uses plastic to cover the organic light emitting diode (OLED) panel. There are other flexible displays that have glass-covered windows, but according to Samsung, they are prone to breaking with "severely impacted." Samsung's solution is presumably much more durable.
Samsung also claims that its plastic-covered screen is somewhat similar to glass.
"The fortified plastic window is especially suitable for portable electronic devices not only because of its unbreakable characteristics, but also because of its lightweight, transmissivity and hardness, which are all very similar to glass," said Hojung Kim, general manager of the Communication Team, Samsung Display Company.
Just how durable is it, though? During UL's testing, Samsung's display survived 26 successive drop tests from 4 feet above the ground. It also withstood extreme temperature fluctuations from -32C (-25.6F) to 71C (159.8F) while continuing to function normally with no damage to its front, sides or edges. UL also dropped the display from 6 feet above ground, which is significantly higher than the US military standard, and it survived that as well.
This is the latest development in ongoing efforts to strengthen mobile displays, which are typically prone to scratches and damage when dropped. Prior to Samsung's announcement, Corning unveiled its Gorilla Glass 6, which is said to be two times better at surviving drops from 1-meter than its predecessor.