Re: Phat Aluminium?
>Aluminium isn't really that strong. It's usually fairly soft. Properly made plastic casings can actually be quite a bit stronger.
Aluminium is quite soft and not that stiff for a given cross-section. However, because it is less dense than steel, the actual cross section used to achieve the required strength is larger than that used for steel. As a consequence, aluminium structures tend to be stiffer than steel ones- look at bicycle frames as an example.
(there are other things going on here though - the choice of material defines the process used to shape it - so ribs might be stamped into steel sheet for stiffness, whereas you might choose to cast a mag/alu alloy, or machine it to achieve a stiff structure)
Of course the primary concern on a bicycle frame is light weight (it doesn't matter if the tubes are thicker), whereas on a phone it is the physical dimensions (W x L x T) that people compete on.
Now, you might choose to use one of a number of plastics instead for a phone- and you might arrive at an engineering solution where the device does bend, but can then return to is original flat state. Aluminium, unlike steel and titanium within their elastic limits, exhibits 'fatigue' where eventual catastrophic failure can result from a succession of small bends or vibration over time.
Another solution would be to build strain gauges into the phone, triggering an audible warning if too much strain is observed, or perhaps a message "get off me you fat bastard!". Or a sound like a mouse being crushed (simulated on a synthesiser of course, not recorded from life in a studio)
Anyway, looks my next phone will be the Xperia Z3 Compact, with flexible glass front and rear, and nylon corners to protect against shock. And it will be in a case. And I don't wear hipster skinny jeans.
I am quite butter-fingered though.