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In the future, you may no longer need a protective case for your iPhone and other Apple devices. That will be possible through Apple’s new plan to make the devices more dent and impact-resistant, which should also mean more durable surfaces against breakage.
According to a patent document from Apple (via Apple Insider), the company is granted a patent for so-called “spatial composites.” Apple discusses in the document the functions of the patent, saying they “relate generally to abrasion-resistant surfaces for electronic devices, and more particularly to incorporating abrasion-resistant elements into material of a housing to form abrasion-resistant surfaces.”
In the document, Apple discusses how different device housing materials have advantages and disadvantages. The company specifically describes how metal can be “resistant to dents, scratches or breakage” but “may interfere with radio signals entering or emanating from the device.” Meanwhile, it says that although “ceramic housings may be scratch resistant and transparent to radio signals,” it is “brittle” for housing. The tech giant also mentioned the pros and cons of using plastics as housing, which it says “may be transparent to radio signals and fairly strong, but may be prone to scratches or dents.”
With this, Apple proposes to use a combination of the said materials and place them intelligently in the housing to ensure their best properties will be utilized. “A housing of an electronic device includes a substrate defining an external surface and internal surface of the housing, at least one sidewall extending from the substrate, and abrasion-resistant members at least partly embedded in the substrate and extending beyond the external surface,” it explains. “The abrasion-resistant members are formed from metal or ceramic. The substrate may comprise a moldable matrix. The abrasion-resistant members are harder than the moldable matrix. An average distance between the adjacent abrasion-resistant members is between about 10 and 100 microns.”
Apple has already made huge improvements in the strength and quality of its latest products, yet it is undeniable that scratch resistance remains an issue in Apple products. As such, knowing that Apple is continuously trying to improve its product’s durability is interesting. However, it is unknown when the company plans to specifically implement the new patent in its creations, but it will certainly bring sturdier Apple devices in the future.