Moshi iVisor Glass

The Awesome Science Behind Glass Touchscreens

No matter how tough smartphone manufacturers make their touchscreen displays, there’s one thing we still fear.

It’s a fact: we’re afraid of dropping our phones.

Glass and aluminum make for a great smartphone experience – until it breaks.

Replacing your touchscreen – or entire device in some cases – is costly. That’s why Moshi has been building out our line of glass screen protectors.

At first glance, it may seem silly to put a glass screen on top of your glass screen. In reality, it makes perfect sense.

It’s a whole lot cheaper to buy a screen protector than a new screen, plus Moshi’s iVisor Glass comes with a free one-time replacement.

The glass we use isn’t your ordinary, everyday glass. Read on to learn what goes into making glass and the specialized process for manufacturing glass screen protectors.

Remember Terminator 3?

You probably don’t recall Terminator 3 very well – it wasn’t particularly memorable.

For me, one scene sticks out for an unusual reason: as a kid, it was the moment I realized that superheated sand turns into glass. Clearly, I hadn’t been paying attention in chemistry class.

Below, Terminator climbs out of his time-traveling lightning ball in the Mojave desert. When he walks away, the desert sand has become glass!

Magic? Not quite.

A quick chemistry lesson:

iVisor Glass and AirFoil Glass, Moshi’s two glass screen protectors, are made from a trademarked, strengthened glass we call IonGlass.

Strengthened glass undergoes a chemical treatment to reduce shattering and increase durability.

The typical recipe for glass starts with sand. Sand is made up of silicon dioxide, a chemical compound similar to a crystallized powder.

This sand is combined with sodium oxide (also known as soda ash), a white solid, and the element lime (what limestone is made of).

These ions arrange themselves into an amorphous solid – that is, it’s a delicate substance with no clear shape.


IonGlass is made using a process called atomic strengthening. We take standard glass and give it what’s called a salt bath.

Also known as an ion exchange process, this bath replaces the sodium ions with larger, potassium ions.

These potassium ions congregate at the surface of the glass, creating a more dense and durable glass that is more resistant to shocks and scratches.

So next time you drop your phone, you can worry a little less knowing your screen is safer.

Don’t believe the hype? 

Try one for yourself and let us know what you think in the comments.

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