LG Chem has developed a new cover window for folding displays, which can be used on foldable smartphones. The company says it will be ready for shipment by 2023. Photo courtesy of LG Chem
SEOUL, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- LG Chem announced this week it has developed a new display material for its folding phones.
The South Korean chemical company said the new material -- called the "Real Folding Window" -- has varying degrees of flexibility, from that of plastic to glass. The material acts as a "cover window," the external part of technological devices that protects the screen from impact.
The company said Wednesday that it coated both sides of a PET film, a high-performance, crystal-clear thermoplastic, to make the new product more resistant to cracks than its counterparts.
"Cover windows are core materials, which safeguard the screen while providing clear images," an LG Chem representative said. "Our new product was fine even after it was folded 200,000 times, in terms of durability and crack lines in the folding points."
He added that the Real Folding Window is versatile because it can be folded outward and inward, compared to existing products, which can only be bent one way.
LG Chem said it will take two years for the new cover windows to hit the market.
"Through our development of the Real Folding Window, we are one step closer to resolving the issues faced by customers. We have already received proposals for joint projects from multiple clients," LG Chem Vice President Chang Do-ki, who leads the firm's IT materials division, said in a statement.
Foldable phones have gained popularity over the past two years since Samsung Electronics released the Galaxy Z Fold and Galaxy Z Flip in early 2019.
Last month, Samsung, the world's top smartphone manufacturer, launched its third generation of folding phones, hitting global sales of 1 million.
Market consultancies and brokerages, including Samsung Securities and Counterpoint Research, predict that the global demand for folding phones will top at least 7 million this year.