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A stronger coverlens offers greater protection

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Jul 19, 2021

Strengthening your display to resist damage can be important to ensure user safety and protect the underlying system, as well as maintaining the appearance.

Small battle scars like chips and abrasions can accumulate over a lifetime in the field caused by unintentional impacts from objects like small tools or keyfobs. They can be a hazard for users and also leave your system vulnerable to water ingress, frost damage, corrosion, solvents. 

Bevelled edges for safety and style

By taking away the sharp angled edges from the glass and creating a bevelled or chamfered smooth edge to your coverlens may deflect enough of the impact energy to prevent chipping or breaking. If done right, this can also add an element of style and high-end market appeal to your design. Different shapes and angles of bevelled edges are possible for a really stylish finish.

Considerations for IK rating requirements

If you need to achieve a predefined impact resistance (IK) rating, you can consider adding optical bonding in combination with glass of an appropriate thickness. By filling the air gap that usually exists in the space between the front of the display and the inside of your coverlens with optically clear adhesive, optical bonding creates an extremely strong assembly. Optical bonding also reduces reflections from the internal surfaces of the coverlens and display, which improves the viewing characteristics especially in applications that must work under high levels of ambient brightness.

On the other hand, you may be designing to handle altogether more serious threats. 

Equipment for heavy industrial applications, such as construction or extractive industries, can expect harsh conditions including hard impacts, while security panels and financial technology like ATM terminals can be exposed to extreme aggression and deliberate attempts to destroy or break into the equipment.

Toughen up your display cover material

For these situations, various glass types including toughened and shatterproof glass can be specified for the coverlens. These are not only highly resistant to breakage but also avoid splintering or shattering in the event of an impact. This helps prevent any sharp edges posing a danger to users or passers-by.

You can also consider a tough plastic coverlens, such as polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA). This offers a cost-effective alternative that could be ideal if the hazards are less severe or if you’re working to a tight budget.

Scratch resistant coatings

In our previous blog we talked about the benefit of scratch resistant such as Optical Diamond-Like Coating (ODLC) for greater durability.The coating has a high hardness rating and low wear that helps ensure a long lifetime and high duty cycle. Excellent optical clarity enhances viewing and ensures no backlight power is wasted, while the smooth finish makes touchscreen interaction a pleasure.

Previous blogs in this series discussed opportunities for styling the coverlens for that extra WOW factor, designing a coverlens to enhance functionality including custom shapes and cut-outs and extended coverglass and ensuring long life of your coverlens through durable designs.

Most projects are subject to a multitude of constraints, such as cost, power, reliability. Navigating the options available to meet all performance targets, within the desired turnaround time, can be challenging. We’re here to help with that. We’ve designed countless user interfaces to stand up to threats ranging from a brush with a coffee cup to extreme forces of nature and intentional violence. Tell us what you need to achieve, and we’ll help you ensure the most resilient and cost-effective solution. Get in touch to discuss your project.

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