Samsung · January 7, 2023

Does it even fold? This is how Samsung is getting rid of the crease

Image credits: Samsung Community

Foldable displays are a neat concept but for many people, the “crease” is an eyesore. That’s why Samsung wants to eliminate it from its foldable displays.

A recent patent application from Samsung shows a construction that may allow a display to unfold without leaving any crease.

The patent application describes a special silicate cover glass for the OLED display. The folding portion of the glass is stretchable.

But how can a glass layer stretch?

For this Samsung has come up with an ingenious design. Several triangular stretching units are disposed between trapezoidal support units in the glass panel. The figure below shows the arrangement:

Annotated drawing from Samsung’s US Patent Application №2022/404,876

The mechanism also has a passivisation film which prevents moisture and oxygen penetration. Samsung also did a pen drop test for the new glass panel which showed higher impact resistance.

The application also suggests multiple layers of these glass sheets can be stacked to achieve variable thickness of panel while maintaining the flexibility.

Drawing from Samsung’s US Patent Application №2022/404,876

The supporting units are made of special hybrid sol gel resin which allows it to withstand the folding stress. The folding section of the glass stretches over these units when phone is unfolded.

It is uncertain whether this technology will be present in the next revision of Samsung’s fold series. It is not atypical for technologies like this to take 3-5 years to come to market.

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