Feeds

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

I swear I will not kill anyone

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Website security in corporate America

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.