Samsung officially announced the Galaxy Z Flip last week, and it stood out for a few reasons - first, it offers significantly better specs than the similarly-styled razr from Motorola at a lower price, and second, it uses an Ultra-Thin Glass (UTG) display cover for the foldable display instead of plastic. While Samsung's use of glass has come into question, the company has since clarified that it is indeed using glass, but a protective film is still being applied on top.
Now, Samsung's display division has announced that it is the first company in the industry to commercialize UTG for use as a cover for foldable displays. The glass layer is just 30μm thin, but it's produced with an "intensifying process" that makes it more durable and flexible, which is why it can be used in foldable displays. Samsung is keeping some of its secrets though, saying a "special material" is injected up to an undisclosed depth so the hardness is consistent.
Samsung is using the tagline "Tough, yet Tender" to promote UTG, and the company says Bureau Veritas, a certification agency based in France, rated the glass for up to 200,000 folds. Samsung has also trademarked the term "Samsung Ultra-Thin Glass" in 38 countries around the world, including the U.S., China, and many EU countries.
This shouldn't come as a surprise, as most companies will probably want to use some form of glass cover instead of plastic as foldables become more popular. Samsung says it's been working with another (unnamed) Korean company to commercialize UTG since 2013, and it could prove to be a profitable business in the coming years.