Corning, the company that makes Gorilla Glass, has unveiled a version of the glass embedded with ionic silver which serves as an antibacterial agent.
Corning, the manufacturer of Gorilla glass, has unveiled a special version of the glass with an antimicrobial agent that kills off microbes living on the surface of a touch screen.
“Corning’s Antimicrobial Gorilla Glass inhibits the growth of algae, mold, mildew, fungi, and bacteria because of its built-in antimicrobial property, which is intrinsic to the glass and effective for the lifetime of a device,” says senior vice president and general manager of Corning Specialty Materials, James Steiner.
It’s a handy thing to have on a touch screen, to be sure – whatever touches the fingers, be it food, drink, toilets, pets, or even other people’s hands – find their way onto the surface of a touchscreen device.
Unlike regular Gorilla glass, the antimicrobial version is formulated with ionic silver, known for its tendency to kill off microbes. This element does not serve to hinder the optical properties of the glass in any way, and because it is embedded into the device, the silver continues to kill microbes over an indefinite period of time, effectively turning the screen into a permanent germ killer.
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Corning elevates these special surfaces in favor of antibacterial wipes and solutions, acknowledging their existence, but adding that they only work temporarily, and sometimes violate manufacturer’s recommendations.
The difference between the microbe content of a non-antimicrobial piece of glass and an antimicrobial one may seem small, but the advantage is that the silver laced glass is always working to reduce the amount of microbes on a screen’s surface over time, rather than all at once.
While primarily suited to electronic devices such as phones, tablets, and computer displays, Corning is also testing the material’s use in a number of applications, and is also looking to market it for use in other frequently touched surfaces.