"If the foldable phone is released next year, it will have to be folded as much as 200 times a day, 219,000 times in total over three years. Based on reliability in terms of research and development of a real product, we need to be able to fold it up to 400,000 times and to a million times, not just 200,000 times."
Lee Ki-yong, CEO of FlexiGO, a foldable display testing equipment company, said at a settlement seminar of UBI Industrial Research held at COEX in Gangnam-gu, Seoul on the afternoon of the 30th, "For foldable displays to be commercialized, the materials used in the parts must be more flexible."
He is an expert in display industry who has been in charge of Flexible OLED development at Samsung Display until 2015. Until just before his retirement, he focused on R&D for future displays such as foldables and rollables.
"Heavy users, such as deliverypersons and students, are expected to fold their phones about 200 times a day, and if you fold them repeatedly, a deformation occurs," CEO Lee said. "The deformation that can be seen by the human eye is about 10μm, and in order to reduce the deformation, each material used in the module will need to increase its flexibility," he added.
He then said, "If you fold it repeatedly, whether it is in-folding or out-folding, the resilience of the joint will decrease." "In order to be able to fold the device 200,000 or 300,000 times, the thickness of the entire module must be less than 200μm."
According to the industry, the radius of curvature of foldable panels developed by the industry up to now is between 2mm and 3mm. In other words, it has implemented a fairly thin panel. The limit to which can be folded in a radius of curvature of around 3mm is about 200,000 times.
However, folding the device in half alters the case. The thickness will be increased from 4mm to 6mm at most. CEO Lee said that this will remove the 'impact' that consumers can feel. That is to say, it is only when the lightweight and flexible modules back up that foldable phones will bring innovation to the market.
CEO Lee also pointed out the importance of testing (inspection) steps before set (complete product) companies ship foldable phones.
According to him, the limit of '200,000 folds' was also derived from experiments conducted at room temperature. It is not yet defined how many times the device can be folded in a hot or cold environment. In particular, the lower the temperature, the greater the elasticity, and the more likely the device is to be transformed, Lee stressed.
Source: ZDNet Korea (http://www.zdnet.co.kr/view/?no=20181201132636)
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