Title:
VIEWING PANEL FOR AN ELECTRONIC DEVICE
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An outer viewing panel includes a display window and a supporting body integrated with the display window. The display window is made of sapphire and the supporting body is made of ceramic for increased hardness and durability. The supporting body is integrally formed with the supporting body by a sintering process.


Inventors:
Chang, Shao-han (New Taipei, TW)
Application Number:
15/275796
Publication Date:
01/12/2017
Filing Date:
09/26/2016
Assignee:
HON HAI PRECISION INDUSTRY CO., LTD. (New Taipei, TW)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
H05K5/00; C04B37/00
View Patent Images:
Primary Examiner:
CIGNA, JACOB JAMES
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ScienBiziP, PC (550 South Hope Street Suite 2825 Los Angeles CA 90071)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A viewing panel for an electronic device, the viewing panel comprising: a display window made of sapphire; and a supporting body made of ceramic; wherein the display window is supported by the supporting body, and the display window is integrally formed with the supporting body by sintering.

2. The viewing panel of claim 1, wherein the display window is positioned in the center of the viewing panel, and the display window is surrounded by the supporting body.

3. The viewing panel of claim 1, wherein the supporting body defines a through hole, and the display window is received in the through hole and coupled to an inner wall of the through hole.

4. The viewing panel of claim 1, wherein the supporting body is positioned at one side of the display window.

5. The viewing panel of claim 1, wherein the ceramic is aluminum oxide, zirconia, silicon nitride, or steatite porcelain.

6. The viewing panel of claim 1, wherein the display window is made of sapphire, and the supporting body is made of ceramic powders by sintering.

7. The viewing panel of claim 1, wherein a surface of the viewing panel is grinded and polished.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

The present application is a divisional application of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 14/087,143, filed on Nov. 22, 2013, which claims priority to Chinese Application No. 201210524876.7 filed on Dec. 10, 2012, the contents of which are entirely incorporated by reference herein.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates to a viewing panel for an electronic device.

BACKGROUND

An electronic device can include a glass surface for a display panel. The glass surface has the advantages of having good transparency and low-cost. However, since the hardness level of the glass is low, the material can be easily scratched and damaged, which affects the appearance and usability of the electronic device. Therefore, there is room for improvement in the art.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Many aspects of the disclosure can be better understood with reference to the following drawings. The components in the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale, the emphasis instead being placed upon clearly illustrating the principles of the method for manufacturing curved glass sheet and the mold employed in the same. Moreover, in the drawings like reference numerals designate corresponding parts throughout the several views. Wherever possible, the same reference numerals are used throughout the drawings to refer to the same or like elements of an embodiment.

FIG. 1 is a diagrammatic view of an exemplary embodiment of a viewing panel.

FIG. 2 is a cross-sectional view taken along line II-II of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a cross-sectional view of a sintering furnace configured to manufacture the viewing panel of FIG. 1 according to a first exemplary embodiment.

FIG. 4 is a composite of sapphire and ceramic made by sintering.

FIG. 5 is a flowchart of an exemplary method for manufacturing the viewing panel of FIG. 1.

FIG. 6 is a cross-sectional view of the sintering furnace configured to manufacture the panel of FIG. 1 according to a second exemplary embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

FIG. 1 and FIG. 2 show a viewing panel 100 according to a first exemplary embodiment of this disclosure. The viewing panel 100 can be used in an electronic device. The viewing panel 100 is made of a composite of sapphire and ceramic materials. The viewing panel 100 includes a display window 10 and a supporting body 30 integrated with the display window 10. The display window 10 is made of sapphire materials. As the display window 10 has the characteristics of good transparency, it can be configured as the display window in electronic devices, such as mobile phones, tablet computers, wrist watches, and MP3 and MP4 players. The supporting body 30 is made of ceramic materials and is configured for mounting the display window 10 to the electronic device. The supporting body 30 can be made of zirconia, silicon nitride, steatite porcelain, or other ceramic materials. In the exemplary embodiment of this disclosure, the viewing panel 100 is for a mobile device. The viewing panel 100 is a plate sheet, the display window 10 is positioned in the center of the viewing panel 100, and the supporting body 30 is formed around the periphery of the display window 10. The supporting body 30 defines a through hole 31, and the display window 10 is received in the through hole 31 and coupled to an inner wall 32 of the through hole 31. The supporting body 30 is integrally formed with the display window 30 by a sintering process. In other embodiments, the display window 10 can be formed on the edge of the viewing panel 100, and the supporting body 30 can be formed on at least one side of the display window 10 to mount the display window 10 to the electronic device.

FIGS. 2-5 show the process of manufacturing the viewing panel 100 according to the first exemplary embodiment which will now be described.

In step S201, a sapphire 50 is positioned in a cavity 207 of a sintering furnace 200 and ceramic powders 60 are positioned around the sapphire 50. The sintering furnace 200 further includes a mold 201, a clamping member 203 configured for pressing the sapphire 50, and a pressing module 205 configured for pressing the ceramic powders 60. In the illustrated exemplary embodiment, the pressing module 205 is a hydraulic module including a strut 2051 and an abutting portion 2053 which is connected to one end of the strut 2051. The mold 201 is made of graphite.

In the first exemplary embodiment of this disclosure, the sapphire 50 is fixed on the portion about the center of the cavity 207, and the ceramic powders 60 are infilled around the sapphire 50 in the cavity 207. The sapphire 50 is cut to a designed shape. The length and the width of the sapphire 50 are matched with those of the display area of the mobile panel. The ceramic powders 60 are aluminum oxide powders.

In step S202, the sapphire 50 and ceramic powders 60 are sintered to form a composite 300 of sapphire integrated with ceramic materials. The sapphire 50 is pressed to form a display window, and the ceramic powders 60 are pressed to form a supporting body. In the first exemplary embodiment of this disclosure, the upper surface of the sapphire 50 is pressed by the clamping member 203, and the upper surface of the ceramic powders 60 is pressed by the pressing module 205. At this time, a sintering process is carried out at high temperature and high pressure. The sintering is protected by argon gas, nitrogen gas, or other inert gas. The conditions of the sintering process will now be described. The temperature is at 1400° C. to 1600° C., the pressure is at 10 to 40 Mpa, and the heating rate is at 10-30° C./min. When the temperature and pressure are raised to the preset value, the temperature and pressure are kept constant for 0.5 to 2 hours. In other embodiments, the sapphire 50 and the ceramic powder 60 may be sintered in vacuum. The ceramic powder 60 may be zirconia powder, silicon nitride powder, steatite porcelain powder, or other ceramic powder. The sapphire 50 is pressed to form a display window, and the ceramic powders 60 are pressed to form a supporting body.

In step S203, the composite 300 is cut to form the viewing panel 100. The viewing panel 100 includes the display window 10 made of sapphire and the supporting body 30 made of ceramic materials. In the first exemplary embodiment of this disclosure, the length and the width of the composite materials 300 after cutting match the requirements of the mobile phone.

In step S204, a surface treatment process is carried out on the viewing panel 100. In the embodiment of this disclosure, the surface of the viewing panel 100 is grinded and polished to increase the flatness and the smoothness.

FIG. 6 shows the manufacturing process of the viewing panel 100 according to a second exemplary embodiment which will now be described. The second exemplary embodiment is similar to the first exemplary embodiment. The sintering furnace 400 includes a mode 401, a clamping member 403 configured for pressing the sapphire 50, and a pressing module 405 configured for pressing the ceramic powders 60. The pressing module 405 is a hydraulic module including a strut 4051 and an abutting portion 2053 which is connected to one end of the strut 4051. The mold 401 is made of graphite. There is a cavity 407 in the mold 401. One difference between the second exemplary embodiment and the first exemplary embodiment is that the upper and lower surfaces of the sapphire 50 and the ceramic powder 60 are pressed to increase the bonding strength of the ceramic materials and the sapphire.

It is to be understood that the side of the sapphire 50 which is used to combine with the ceramic materials may include V-shaped protrusions or concavities, the bonding strength of the display window 10 and the supporting body 30 can thus be increased.

The viewing panel 100 of this disclosure is made of sapphire integrated with ceramic powders by sintering, making the bonding strength of the sapphire and ceramic materials high. The sapphire has the advantages of high transparence, high hardness, and scratch resistance. At the same time, the ceramic materials have the advantages of high hardness and low-cost. Therefore, the viewing panel 100 of this disclosure has better scratch resistance and low-cost.

It is believed that the present embodiments and their advantages will be understood from the foregoing description, and it will be apparent that various changes may be made thereto without departing from the spirit and scope of the embodiments or sacrificing all of its material advantages.