If you’ve ever gasped as your phone tumbled out of your hand and crashed onto the floor, you’re not alone. In fact, in the past year, 6.3 million Americans have experienced the shock and disappointment of damaging their smartphones’ screens, according to a survey by Allstate Protection Plans. And if you live in Texas, Missouri, or Oklahoma, you’re even more likely to have had to replace a broken phone.
It’s a universal experience, that moment of panic when your phone slips from your grip and time seems to stand still. In those moments, the importance of phone protection becomes all too clear. However, not all phone protectors are created equal. This is where the concept of a military-grade protective case comes into play.
But what does “military-grade” really mean? Is it just marketing jargon, or does it offer tangible benefits for our digital lifelines? In this blog post, we’ll unravel the science behind military-grade phone protection, exploring its significance, how it works, and the rigorous tests these protectors undergo to earn the “military-grade” badge.
Understanding Military-Grade Phone Protection
“Oops! There goes my phone,” you mutter as your device takes another nosedive onto the pavement. You pick it up, hoping that it survived the fall. Now, imagine if you had a shield that’s been tested and proven in the toughest conditions possible. That’s where military-grade phone protection comes into play.
When we say “military-grade,” what exactly do we mean? In the world of phone protection, it refers to a standard known as MIL-STD-810G. MIL-STD-810G is a series of tests designed by the U.S. military to simulate how materials will hold up in various environmental conditions. Test Method 516.6 specifically pertains to shock testing, including eight different procedures.
- Functional Shock: This test is designed to evaluate the material’s functionality after it has been subjected to shocks that might occur during its service life. The aim is to assess the physical integrity, continuity, and functionality of the material.
- Material to be Packaged: This procedure is carried out to ensure the material can withstand shocks encountered during packaging, handling, and transportation.
- Fragility: This test establishes the fragility level of the material to enable engineers to design suitable protective measures for its transportation.
- Transit Drop: This test simulates the shock material received when it is dropped during handling or transportation. The test item is dropped onto a hard surface from various heights.
- Crash Hazard Shock Test: This test is performed to verify the structural integrity of materiel mounts, tie-downs, or containment configurations during simulated crash scenarios.
- Bench Handling: This test simulates the shock material received during routine handling on a bench. The item is dropped freely onto a horizontal bench top.
- Pendulum Impact: This procedure checks the ability of large shipping containers to resist horizontal impacts.
- Catapult Launch/Arrested Landing: This test simulates the shocks experienced by materiel during catapult launches and arrested landings on aircraft carriers.
These tests are designed to ensure that materials can withstand the rigors of their intended environments, ensuring their reliability and durability. Mobile phone case manufacturers can choose a single test procedure or a blend of multiple procedures, depending on their needs. It’s common for more than one procedure to be employed. We refer to Procedure IV-Transit Drop when discussing “drop tests” for mobile phone cases.
Materials and Engineering
Now, let’s talk about what makes military-grade phone protection so robust. It’s like peeking into a superhero’s closet. What does their suit consist of? How does it withstand all that action? Similarly, what materials are used in military-grade phone protection?
Some common materials that you might come across include Gorilla Glass, Aramid Fiber – Kevlar, and Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
These materials are not randomly picked; they each bring unique properties to the table, making them ideal for shoring up your phone’s defenses. Let’s delve deeper into each one:
- Gorilla Glass
Developed by Corning Inc., Gorilla Glass is a chemically strengthened glass resistant to scratches and damages1. Its durability comes from a special ion-exchange process, where large ions are pushed into the glass surface, creating a layer of compressive stress that helps prevent cracks and breaks2. This makes it perfect for protecting your phone screen, as it can withstand daily wear and tear and even those heart-stopping moments when your phone takes a tumble.
- Aramid Fiber- Kevlar
Kevlar is a heat-resistant, synthetic solid fiber related to other aramids such as Nomex and Technora. Developed by Stephanie Kwolek at DuPont in 19654, this high-strength material was first commercially used in the early 1970s as a replacement for steel in racing tires5. Kevlar has many applications today, ranging from bicycle tires and racing sails to body armor because of its high tensile strength-to-weight ratio. Kevlar provides a lightweight yet highly durable casing capable of withstanding high-impact events without adding unnecessary bulk when used in phones.
- Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU)
This is a highly versatile elastomer with unique properties that offer both the performance benefits of hard plastics and the elasticity of rubber. Because of its flexibility, TPU is often used in phone cases to provide shock absorption and resistance to abrasion, oil, and grease. In addition, its smooth and sleek surface makes for a comfortable grip, ensuring your phone won’t easily slip out of your hand. While it may not be as hard as titanium, TPU balances protection and flexibility, making it an excellent material for safeguarding your device from everyday mishaps.
So, are you ready to invest in your peace of mind? Remember, your phone is more than just a gadget — it’s a lifeline, an office, and a source of entertainment. Give it the protection it deserves with a military-grade phone case. Don’t wait until after the unfortunate incident of a shattered screen or a damaged phone. Make the smart choice today and safeguard your device with robust, military-grade protection. Your phone will thank you for it.