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LG Chem unveils new cover window technology for foldable devices

The new product is suitable for both in-folding and out-folding devices, LG says

By Sep 07, 2021 (Gmt+09:00)

LG Chem's new cover window for foldable devices
LG Chem's new cover window for foldable devices

LG Chem Ltd., the chemical unit of South Korea’s LG Group, said on Tuesday it has developed a new cover window that folds both ways – inward and outward – allowing for more applications in displays and information technology devices.

LG’s “Real Folding Window” is as hard as glass with folding areas flexible as plastic, the company said in a statement.

A cover window is used in IT devices to protect display panels from impact while delivering clear images.

Unlike existing polyimide films and tempered glass-type materials, LG said its cover window is more flexible and leaves little folding marks on the connecting part of the screen.

The latest product is produced by coating a new material on both sides of a PET film, a type of thin plastic, to enhance heat-resistance and mechanical properties of plastic materials, the company said.

More importantly, while currently commercialized cover windows are optimized for in-folding methods in which the screen folds inwards, LG’s product is also suitable for out-folding methods where the screen folds outwards, it said.

LG Chem
LG Chem

MORE FLEXIBLE, DURABLE THAN RIVALS

LG said its product is more competitive than polyimide films, as tests showed durability is maintained even if it is folded more than 200,000 times.

The company said it is also developing technology to produce a cover window only with the coating and without PET films.

LG plans to commercialize the two types of cover windows in 2023.

“We will strengthen our partnerships with leading companies of the smartphone industry and expand our market from mobile phones to other foldable applications such as laptops and tablets,” said Chang Do-ki, vice president and chief of LG Chem’s IT materials division.

According to industry tracker Omdia, the foldable phone market is expected to grow from 3.5 million units in 2020 to 50 million units by 2026.

Write to Jeong-Min Nam at peux@hankyung.com

In-Soo Nam edited this article.

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