LG Chem has announced a competitor to Samsung’s UltraThin Glass called ‘Real Folding Window’.
LG says it is as hard as glass but has folding areas as flexible as plastic, leading to significantly improved fold lines in the folding area compared to existing products.
The technology works by applying specially developed coating materials to make the surface as hard as glass, while the folding parts remain as flexible as plastic.
LG Chem developed and coated a new material at a thickness of a few dozen micrometers (?) on both sides of PET film, which is a type of thin plastic, to enhance heat-resistance and mechanical properties of plastic materials.
It is thinner compared to existing tempered glass and has the same hardness, but no cracking on the screen.
‘Real Folding Window’ is intended for the folding display market and LG notes that it features not just durability and transmittance, but also the curved characteristics that can be folded flexibly.
A speaker from LG Chem said, “Unlike existing polyimide films and tempered glass-type materials, the cover window that applied LG Chem’s new coating technologies will maximize flexibility, while also providing optimized solutions for foldable phones such as making improvements to chronic issues like fold impressions on the connecting part of the screen.”
The price competitiveness is superior compared to existing polyimide film and due to its outstanding flexibility, durability is maintained completely even when folding more than 200,000 times. LG Chem also made significant improvements to the fold lines that occur on the folding parts of the screen.
In particular, while currently commercialized cover windows are optimized for in-folding methods in which the screen folds inwards, LG Chem’s ‘real folding window’ has the advantage that it can also be used for out-folding methods where the screen folds outwards.
Chang Do Ki (Vice President / Division Leader, IT Materials Division. Advanced Materials) commented, “Through the Real Folding Window that we newly developed, we were able to take a step closer to resolving the pain points of customers, and we have already received proposals for joint projects from multiple clients.”
LG Chem plans to procure mass production abilities by 2022 and begin full-scale sales of the product from 2023.
He added, “We will strengthen our partnerships with leading companies of the smartphone industry and expand our market starting with mobiles and going on to new foldable applications such as laptops and tablets.”