[iPad 2 Teardown (2)] Iron Prevents Cracking of Glass

Apr 13, 2011
Nikkei Electronics Teardown Squad
A flat-head screwdriver is being inserted. And the glass is being bent.
A flat-head screwdriver is being inserted. And the glass is being bent.
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Cracks on the glass. The driver extended them.
Cracks on the glass. The driver extended them.
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The glass being heated by an iron. It became easier to remove the glass after heating.
The glass being heated by an iron. It became easier to remove the glass after heating.
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The front glass being removed. Thanks to the iron, we could take it out without changing its shape.
The front glass being removed. Thanks to the iron, we could take it out without changing its shape.
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Continued from [iPad 2 Teardown (1)] Slimmer, Sharper Body

No screw of the iPad 2 can be seen from the outside as in the case of the first-generation iPad. Therefore, we had to pry open the chassis. We inserted the blade of a box cutter between the aluminum alloy chassis and the front glass to make a gap and used a flat-head screwdriver to gradually widen the gap.

It was harder than we thought. To pry open a device whose cover is fitted in the device, it normally becomes easier to remove the cover once it opens a little. However, the gap between the iPad 2's front glass and chassis did not easily widen, making us anxious.

Then, with a snapping sound, the front glass cracked. We were disappointed because we thought that we broke the iPad 2. But we continued the teardown, and the crack became larger and larger. A corner of the front glass was badly cracked.

When we were beginning to consider completely breaking the glass to remove it, a photographer found helpful information. He was checking other teardown projects of the iPad 2 on the Internet. And, in one of them, the front glass was removed by using a dryer to heat it. It seemed that the glass was not fitted in the chassis but bonded to it and that the adhesive force was weakened by the heat.

Though we did not have a dryer, we had an iron. Therefore, we put a piece of paper on the iPad 2 and started to heat it with the iron. The adhesive force was seemingly decreasing as we heated the glass. We began to carefully remove the glass so that it would not crack any more while heating it. A short time later, we successfully removed the front glass.

When we looked at the back of the glass, we found a double-sided tape used to bond the glass. Such a method of using an adhesive tape to bond the front side of a chassis is often employed for iPad look-alikes manufactured by Chinese makers. This time, Apple employed the same method as its imitators.

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