Apple has just been granted a new patent for high quality curved glass. Instead of using the standard “dropout” or “vacuum” processes to create curved glass, Apple patented a system that creates curved glass by using an alignment process that shifts the glass as it’s heated up. The process configures hinges that are moved away from the glass as the heat is increased.
Why is Apple’s process better than what’s currently on the market? First off, standard bending processes can cause unintentional cracks and nicks in the glass that need repair or disposal. The glass can also suffer “perimetrical flanges” that are later ground away. These issues are caused by fixed alignment systems that the “dropout” and “vacuum” processes.
Apple eliminating these issues can decrease the use of harmful chemicals that are used in standard processes. Apple can also cut down unnecessary costs involved in fixing the damaged sheets.
Apple has yet to use curved glass in any of its products, though they applied for the patent in March of 2009. With Apple using less and less glass in its latest designs, this patent may never be used.