The US Patent and Trademark Office recently released a supplemental patent application filed by Apple. The add-on focuses on preventing folding screen electronics from cracking the display where it folds.
Apple’s original patent application, published a year ago, describes displays and protective coating structures that can be used in curved, flexible, and foldable display modules. The supplement is intended to strengthen the claims of the original invention. Its essence is in the use of a protective cover layer, which can make the display resistant to cracking.
According to the inventors, usually the appearance of a crack in the display glass is preceded by the appearance of microcracks. A special layer of hard coating can fill the emerging micro-cracks, making it difficult for cracks to occur.
The key to the addition is the “filler particles in the polymer matrix” of the aforementioned hard coating. These can be ceramic particles Al2O, MgAlO 4, SiAlON, AlON or ZrO2.
In addition, this layer can be strong enough to also serve as an outer protective coating, providing protection from impacts and scratches.
Additional Application No. 20210096595 was filed in October 2020.