The protective coatings may incorporate a binder material like polymer (sometimes referred to as a matrix or polymer matrix) and might include particles embedded within the binder. The particles may have hardness to enhance the durability of the coatings.
This week the US Patent & Trademark Office released a patent application from Apple that relates to new protective coatings being inserted to Apple devices in the future that will protect against damage to housing structures, transparent members connected with optical component windows and displays, and other apparatus structures.

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Patently Apple: