The new Ford GT will use windshield and rear window out of something called “Gorilla Glass” made by Corning. It’s light and tough and you spend all day tapping on it on your phone. Now it’s being adopted to make cars quicker.
In the simplest terms, less weight means better performance for anything on wheels. Ford’s main objective in using Corning’s glass is to put their GT sports car on a diet. They say the glass saves about 12 pounds, or is “approximately 32 percent lighter than competitive vehicles” in a press release.
Ford explains that their traditional car windshields are made of two layers of annealed (heated then cooled to shape) glass stuck together with a clear adhesive.
The new Corning-made glass start with a strengthened formed inner layer, a noise-absorbing plastic layer in the middle, and then a strip of annealed glass on the outside of the car. More layers sounds heavier to me, but apparently that’s not the case.
As Ford body exteriors engineer Paul Linden explains;
“During development, we tried different glass variations before we found a combination that provided both weight savings and the durability needed for exterior automotive glass.”
“We learned, somewhat counterintuitively, that the strengthened interior layer of the windshield is key to the success of the hybrid window.”
The Gorilla Glass is promised to be as-strong or stronger than a regular windshield, but 25 to 50 percent lighter. This promotional clip goes into a little more detail on where the glass comes from and how it’s being ported to the GT sports car:
I never thought smartphone glass was particularly known for resilience, but apparently even more people would be walking around with shattered screens if they were made of the same garbage we’ve all got in our car windshields.
Ford hasn’t published its long-term intentions with Gorilla Glass yet. But if it works out on the GT I would expect the company to start seeing if they can cost-effectively port it the rest of the lineup. After all, less weight basically means better everything on any car.
Images via Ford
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