Wonder: Can Gorilla Glass Be Used as Windshield?
June 17, 2013

by Jenna Reed, jreed@glass.com

Repair and replacement technicians have mixed reactions to reports that Corning Gorilla Glass, which is used in smartphones, is coming to the automotive market.

The Gorilla Glass manufacturer's vice president recently said the glass is expected to head to "at least one" auto manufacturer and will be arriving in cars next year, according to reports. The automaker and dates of arrival were not revealed.

Corning Gorilla Glass is lightweight and highly damage-resistant. It is used to protect smartphones, tablets and laptops from everyday wear and tear, according to the manufacturer's site. The site goes on to describe the glass as scratch resistant, offering "reduced scratch visibility and improved retained strength."

"The introduction of Gorilla glass in autos may be a big game changer for our industry if the cost can be reduced to make it viable," says Bob Beranek of Auto Glass Consultants in Sun Prairie, Wis.

"However, I don't know how strong it actually is. If it is as strong as they say, it will impact the replacement industry. I have seen videos and read articles that say that it will break at the thicknesses of phone screens, but if the glass is made the thickness of a windshield, it may be a different story," he adds.

"I assume that the announcement of its use in an automobile is either a test or used in autos overseas. I doubt that the company has overcome all the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards that pertain to glass as yet," Beranek says.

Meanwhile, David Casey of SuperGlass Windshield Repair in Orlando, Fla., says he does not see Gorilla Glass taking the place of standard windshields.

"I always ask our trainees during a class room session, 'Why is there no indestructible windshield? Is it because technology can't make one? The answer is 'No, there are many substances that are clear that would resist damage from a rock hitting it. But, an indestructible windshield would defeat the purpose of a windshield which is to break when you impact it rather than having your head break,'" Casey explains.

"The windshield is a sacrificial piece of glass. It gives its life so you don't have to gives yours," he adds.

He also goes on to point out the price of Gorilla Glass.

"It's expensive for a piece the size of an iPhone, so you can imagine the costs when you increase to the size of a windshield and then add a second layer. It would also bring problems when it is bent and curved," he says.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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