Tokyo-based Asahi Glass Co., Ltd., of flat, automotive and display glass, chemicals and other high-tech materials and components, announced today it will launch worldwide sales of Dragontrail, a glass material that is highly receptive to chemical strengthening, to respond to surging global demands for high-quality cover glass used for screens on electronic devices.
By 2012, AGC expects to achieve sales of over 30 billion yen (about 360 million USD) in the global market for chemically strengthened cover glass used in smartphones, tablet PCs, TVs and similar devices.
According to the company, chemically strengthened Dragontrail is six times stronger than conventional soda-lime glass, highly resistant to scratches and features a pristine finish compared with resin. Dragontrail, developed from market-proven raw glass for chemical strengthening, is free of environmentally harmful materials such as arsenic, lead and antimony.
Dragontrail is available in a variety of thicknesses ranging from 0.5 mm to over 5.0 mm, as well as in various sizes.
AGC uses a highly efficient float process to manufacture Dragontrail by utilizing the company's technical expertise in producing specialized glass for electronics acquired through manufacturing TFT glass substrates. The production efficiency of this manufacturing process ensures stable supply of cover glass for the growing global mobile device market. AGC will also proactively respond to growing demand for cover glass used in televisions.
"Dragontrail is a strategic product that will build new foundations for growth under Grow Beyond, our management policy," said Yoshiaki Tamura, Deputy President of AGC's Electronics Company unit. "We will continue to explore new applications for this versatile product as we expand its global market."
The demand for cover material is growing in parallel with the rapid proliferation of smartphones, tablet PCs and other devices, many of which feature designs where touchscreen panels cover the majority of their surfaces. These mobile devices require protection against shocks and grazing resulting from touch operation, accidental drops and scraping inside a pocket or bag. AGC's Dragontrail offers a superior substitute to conventional cover material, such as soda-lime glass, which lacks strength, and resin, which is prone to scratches and limited by poor texture quality.