How Hard Is Sapphire?


Hardness and durability is the main reason for Apple’s interest in sapphire glass. On the hardness scale, thesapphire glass only material tougher than sapphire is diamond. What this means is that it is immensely scratch resistant in a way that no other comparable material is — both in terms of “flaw initiation” (i.e. when it starts to scratch) and toughness (when it cracks). Its fracture toughness is around 4 times greater than that of Gorilla Glass.

To explore sapphire’s durability, the team at Aero-Gear put the glass through its paces, carrying out a series of tests to find the conditions under which it would scratch.Their findings were impressive.

One test saw Aero-Gear drag a concrete cinderblock over an iPhone featuring a sapphire display. Amazingly, despite taking the entire weight of the block, and having its coarse surface dragged over the phone’s length, no visible damage can be seen.

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