If your device has touch functionality, chances are that there is a cover lens that protects the sensitive touch sensor underneath from scratches and damage. When it comes to cover lenses, there are several options available, each with their own strengths and weaknesses.
In this article, we'll compare four popular cover lens materials: Strengthened Glass, Polycarbonate (PC), Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) and Sapphire Glass.
Strengthened Glass such as the popular Gorilla Glass or Sodalime Glass is a type of chemically strengthened glass that has been specifically designed to be highly resistant to scratches and damage. It is made by undergoing a special chemical treatment to a thin sheet of glass, which makes it more durable than standard glass. One of the biggest advantages of this glass is its scratch resistance. It can withstand a lot of wear and tear without getting scratched, making it ideal for devices that are frequently used. It is also highly transparent and does not distort the colors or brightness of the screen, providing a clear and vivid display. This is the most common cover lens for most devices however it is not as impact resistant as the plastic options. Dropped your phone? Ouch.
Polycarbonate is a type of thermoplastic that is known for its strength and durability. It is often used as a cover lens material for touch panels because it is lightweight, shatter-resistant, and highly impact resistant. PC is also very easy to mold into different shapes and sizes, which makes it an ideal choice for devices with curved displays. Additionally, it is more affordable than Strengthened Glass, making it a popular choice for devices with lower price points. However, PC is not as scratch-resistant as Strengthened Glass, and it can become cloudy over time due to exposure to UV light.
Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA):
PMMA is another popular material for cover lenses, particularly for budget devices. It is a type of thermoplastic that is lightweight and easy to mold, making it a cost-effective option. It is also highly transparent, which means it does not interfere with the colors or brightness of the display. However, PMMA is not as durable as glass or PC. It is prone to scratches and cracks, and it can become cloudy over time due to exposure to UV light.
The bee's knees, Sapphire Glass is a synthetic material that is highly scratch-resistant, almost as much as diamond. It is also highly transparent and does not distort the colors or brightness of the display. However, Sapphire Glass is significantly more expensive than Strengthened Glass and the plastic lenses we've compared above, making it a less common choice for most devices.
So which cover lens material is the best for your device? Unfortunately there is no perfect solution. It ultimately depends on the specific needs of the device and its intended use. Need scratch-resistant? Glass. Think your device will be dropped by the user frequently? PC. Maybe something in the middle but not as durable? PMMA. Launching a premium product and could use the word Sapphire? Sapphire glass has a Hardness rating that surpasses even the hardest Strengthened Glass.
At Truly, we manufacture our own cover glass in house and can make it in different types of structures such as 2D, 2.5D, 3D, bridge, step and double curvature types. We also can coat them with Anti-Glare, Anti-Fingerprint and Anti-Reflection coatings. Silk printing the lens in your desired pantone color is also of course welcomed. Air bonding and optical lamination are two assembly options to the display.
Thinking of a touch & display solution? Get in touch now and our team of experienced engineers will be here to answer your questions.