Feeds

Come with me if you want a lid: Apple bags Terminator-esque LiquidMetal mobe patent

I swear I will not kill anyone

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Apple has patented a method of embedding sapphire glass within a bezel made of the new, exciting-sounding (but rather dull) material LiquidMetal.

US Patent number 8,738,104 is titled "methods and systems for integrally trapping a glass insert in a metal bezel", and the design is at least six years old.

Since then, Apple has only really used LiquidMetal in a SIM card ejector, although it just extended its exclusivity deal with the firm behind the material – which reminds El Reg of the Terminator movies, famous for lines like "hasta la vista, baby" and "come with me if you want to live".

The patent – filed on July 11, 2008 and approved on Tuesday – relates to a tough bezel designed to absorb shocks. To boost the strength of the connection between an iThing's case and its glass screen, the patent uses metal in liquid form, which is injected into the gap between the glass and case. The metal then expands to "grab" the glass and keep it tightly attached to the case.

The patent said: "Instead of plastic, the material traditionally associated with injection molding, the patent uses metal in liquid form. Chief among alloy candidates is LiquidMetal, which behaves like a plastic and carries thermal properties advantageous to the MIM [metal injection molding] process. In some cases the thermal properties of select glass and metal materials can be matched to aid in production."

The patent also sidesteps troublesome tolerance issues.

"The formation of a bezel around a glass member substantially eliminates tolerance issues associated with the bezel and the glass member. Because the material (e.g., metal) used in the bezel is provided in liquid form around the glass member, there is effectively no tolerance that has to be maintained with respect to the bezel. The liquid flows around the edge of the glass member, and when solidified, effectively grabs and adheres to the glass member."

So could this mean that LiquidMetal finally gets used in something other than a SIM ejector? Only Apple can tell us that. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
Sonos AXES support for Apple's iOS4 and 5
Want to use your iThing? You can't - it's too old
Philip K Dick 'Nazi alternate reality' story to be made into TV series
Amazon Studios, Ridley Scott firm to produce The Man in the High Castle
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Joe Average isn't worth $10 a year to Mark Zuckerberg
The Social Network deflates the PC resurgence with mobile-only usage prediction
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
Feel free to BONK on the TUBE, says Transport for London
Plus: Almost NOBODY uses pay-by-bonk on buses - Visa
Amazon says Hachette should lower ebook prices, pay authors more
Oh yeah ... and a 30% cut for Amazon to seal the deal
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.