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Durability - sapphire screens


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Nice... some problems with the story though. Hardness and durability are two different things.

The ability to resist scratching is hardness. The ability to take a beating and not break is durability (or toughness, if you will). These two attributes are as different as night and day, but are often confused and used interchangeably.


Diamond, the hardest natural substance known -- will scratch anything, even the hammer that I just hit it with. But guess what... the hammer still wins the contest. Likewise, drop that phone onto a relatively hard surface (one that would apply shock force) and it too, will end up in pieces.


Certainly, the ability to resist scratching is an advance, but I wouldn't go so far as to call the phone more durable.

Torque, shock, or angular forces are still gonna break the screen -- if not the phone itself.


At least it won't be scratched! :lol::lol::lol::blink:

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This is widely discussed in the world of wristwatches...


Hesalite (perspex, acrylic) watch crystals are genuinely the toughest, even though they scratch quite easily. They are easily polished back to acceptible clarity, though.


Toughened mineral glass (like Seiko's Hardlex) is the next toughest, and scratches less.


Sapphire is the hardest and scratches least, but is more brittle and is the least forgiving of strong impacts.


For this reason, most "serious" diving watches (rather than expensive Rolexes and Omegas) have thick (4mm or so) mineral glass crystals, which are an acceptable compromise between scratch resistance and toughness. You don't want to accidentally crack your watch crystal at depth - the watch would flood and stop in an instant.


Sapphire might be a "premium" material, but it isn't always the most suitable. In the case of a GPS which may get bumped and dropped, clear polycarbonate resin, with a Zagg (other brands are avaialble) protector is probably a more effective and economical way to prroceed.

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Having now read the article... :rolleyes: It seems this is more akin to Seiko's Sapphlex crystals where a thin layer of Sapphire was fused onto a thicker, supporting substrate of hardened mineral glass, so you get the surface hardness of sapphire combied with the toughness of the underlying toughened glass.


Could work quite well.


You have to wonder, though - given that phones and GPSRs become obsolescent in a relatively short period (and therefore have relatively short lifetimes - as a generality) just how necessary is an uber-durable screen?

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