The release of the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 has reignited interest in foldable devices. While Samsung’s third-generation folding phones have likely better robust screens this time around, they still suffer from one of the most serious faults in flexible displays. Although it may be a long time until we achieve the ideal flexible glass, LG Chem, LG’s chemistry division, claims to have a solution that will eliminate creases.
Foldable devices, like regular smartphones, have screens that are made up of many layers. The most significant aspect of a foldable display, aside from the flexible panel itself, is the cover display or “cover window” on top, which shields the panel’s sensitive pixels. This year’s material for Samsung’s foldable devices is its new Ultra-Thin Glass, which promises to be 80 percent more durable than last year’s Galaxy Z Fold 2.
LG, on the other hand, has shown a new “Real Folding Window” material that it promises will perform even better. Its most notable feature, according to LG, is the combination of glass-like toughness and plastic-like flexibility. As a result, there are no creases, which is one of the most common concerns with foldable screens, and no cracks, which are usually linked with bending glass.
LG Chem is so confident in the longevity of its foldable display cover that it thinks a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) covering on top may not be necessary. This plastic covering protects the ultra-thin glass, but it has a softer touch than the plain glass on traditional smartphones. While the Galaxy Z Fold 3 has enhanced that layer, a sharp fingernail can still scratch it.
While LG’s “Real Folding Window” appears to be a promising concept, the main question is whether manufacturers will be willing to invest in the new technology. Samsung and TCL appear to be the largest names in that specialised display industry, following LG’s withdrawal from the mobile competition. Of course, LG has traditional OLED and LCD panel clients, including Google, which might utilise this cover display for its upcoming Pixel Fold.