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Apple: Apple investigating reinforced plastic as case material for future Apple

While the main components of the device would remain the same, the future Apple could come with a case partly made of plastic and ceramic fibers.

This is an Apple Ceramic 5 series. Future models can weave cheaper ceramic fibers for the main body.

Apple plans to expand its user base of Apple by working on a version that should be cheaper to manufacture than previous models that generally used stainless steel. So far, the Apple has been presented with the same internal design, but with an aluminum and titanium body. The proposed new housing is said to be primarily made of ceramic fiber.

Ceramic fibers are different from the ceramic cases that Apple sometimes used on the apple. It is generally a material used for insulation or reinforcement of other materials. A new patent application proposes to use a ceramic fiber weave to produce a cover that is strong enough to protect, but cheaper to produce.

Ceramic Weave for Low-Cost, Structural, Antenna Permeable Case, US Patent No. 20200096948, explains why material selection is important for a suitcase.

“Some materials can provide the desired level of performance with regard to certain properties, but others cannot,” he says. For example, a metal housing can be strong and resistant, but it can offer different levels of electromagnetic shielding. A plastic housing can be electromagnetically transparent, but it can have lower strength, toughness and wear resistance. Ceramic materials can be stronger than plastic, but can be more expensive to shape and machine. ‘

Patent detail with the separate Apple cover from the front

This appeal to successfully transmit radio or electromagnetic signals is also important for the strength of the housing and the construction costs. The solution to get optimal results at optimal cost, Apple argues, is to use a composite material.

“In some cases, the ceramic material may contain ceramic fibers that can be arranged in a pattern, such as a weave,” he continues. “A matrix material, such as a resin or an epoxy, can partially, largely or completely surround the ceramic fibers, so that the weaving of the ceramic fibers can be embedded in the matrix material.”

“In some cases, ceramic fibers can be used to amplify or reduce interference, attenuation, or shielding from wireless signals received or transmitted by the antenna.”

The majority of the patent application takes over this central idea and then presents many details about the elements of a housing that can be made of this material. It also explains in detail how to assemble the whole device and how to make different components.

“A composite part, as discussed here, may or may be part or part of a part, such as a housing, for an electronic device,” he concludes. “The composite component may also be or form any number of additional components of an electronic device, including internal components, external components, enclosures, surfaces, or partial surfaces.”

It is therefore possible that various elements of a future Apple, including the internal components, will be supported by this cheaper material. But the overall goal is to cut the cost of the whole thing, to enable a cheaper Apple that remains strong enough to withstand fair use.