Corning has partnered with Hyperformance Glass Products (HGP) to manufacture hybrid laminate replacement windshields for Ford F-150 owners, which feature Corning’s Gorilla Glass. The company’s glass is also used in other applications including many smart phones and tablets.
“We’ve actually been working on hybrid windshields and hybrid windows going back almost 10 years. We started looking and evaluating the glass and trying to understand a lot of the applications for Gorilla,” said Kevin Morgan, Corning auto exteriors business development director.
“Corning is bringing its Gorilla Glass technology to automotive exterior applications. When used as the inner ply of a vehicle window laminate, Gorilla Glass can make that window lighter, tougher, and clearer than conventional windows. Together with HGP, Corning is bringing Gorilla hybrid windshields to the aftermarket replacement glass market by selling “Gorilla Tough” windshields directly to consumers,” a statement provided by HGP reads.
The glass manufacturer says, it started working in the automotive industry and utilizing different glasses nearly 40 years ago.
“Our consumer business with Gorilla Glass was doing really well for years and so we started looking at other applications for the glass and thought we could use it in both the interior and exterior of a car. So we looked at both of those business segments and we started investigating,” Morgan recalled.
About five years ago, the company started looking at Gorilla Glass in other applications, according to Morgan. Corning started working with Ford to create a windshield for the automotive maker’s GT supercar. Morgan mentioned one of the benefits of looking at the market and understanding glass’ overall applications is that you can use Gorilla Glass on the inner ply, or the inside, of the window in a laminate and it creates a lighter and tougher window.
“So there’s a trade-off that we can do, we can make a very tough glass, depending on the configuration of the outer and inner ply, or we can make it thinner and you can save weight. So it really depends on the application and what the customer is looking for,” Morgan said.
“Our Gorilla Glass is on the inner ply of the laminate [windshield] and so we do testing that uses sharper impact (an indenter that drops from different heights) and blunt impact that simulates a rock hitting the vehicle’s glass on a highway,” Morgan said. “We use those types of tests to gauge on what kind of crack would happen. Normally what happens is when an object strikes the Gorilla Glass, the glass is actually strong enough and acts as a buffer or a spring board, because it gives and comes back. So the energy gets absorbed.”
“While traditional windshields use two plies of annealed glass, one of these layers is replaced with chemically tempered glass that is flexible, durable, and thin, enabling lightweight glazing,” a statement provided by HGP reads.