Home / Technology / News /  LG develops new ‘cover window’ to strengthen foldable displays on phones

South Korean electronics giant LG Chem has announced a “real folding window" that can be used as cover material for foldable screens of phones. The company claims that the new material is as hard as glass but allows the folding parts of devices to remain as flexible as plastic. 

“Cover windows are core materials located on the outermost part of IT devices to protect the display from impact, while also delivering clear images," the company explained. It will take the company two years to start shipping them.

When the first foldable smartphones shipped a couple of years ago, manufacturers like Samsung had to fit plastic screen protectors on top of the phones’ displays to keep them from breaking. Notably, Samsung included a bunch of warnings with its foldable devices, directing users not to remove the screen protector.

“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," a spokesperson from the company said.

LG hasn’t revealed exactly what this new material is, but said that it’s used to coat both sides of a PET (polyethylene terepthalate) film. PET films are a type of thin plastic used in making foldable displays. LG also claims that the material enhances the “heat resistance and mechanical properties" of the plastic materials.

The company also said that this new material will be “price competitive" against current polyamide films, which have been used in phones like the new Moto Razr and Samsung’s foldables so far. It also claimed that the “flexibility and durability" of the screens are “maintained completely" even after they have been folded 200,000 times, and that fold lines will not be seen either.

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