Windshields – an exciting story about our (in)visible and important companion…
Windshields have been around since 1904, but back then every windshield comprised two panes mounted in a frame. It was not until the 1930s that automotive manufacturers began to produce laminated glass with a layer of PVB (polyvinyl butyral) between two glass panes. The method of coating layers of glass or between layers of laminated glass was an accidental invention of Edouard Benedictus, a French artist and chemist. He happened to drop a beaker coated in cellulose and to his surprise the glass retained its shape.
Since the 1930s, car makers have been using tempered glass, or glass panes hardened by heat treatment, for the side and rear windows of vehicles. They can be easily broken if a vehicle is submerged in water or when a child must be extracted from a car during an emergency. There is a general consensus that the risk of ejection of occupants from a vehicle is much higher, and laminated glass has seen increasing use for all body windows.
A major breakthrough in the history of producing high-quality plate glass occurred between the years 1953 and 1957, when the float glass production process was invented, a revolutionary method of casting molten glass on the surface of molten tin in a vat, which did away with the costly grinding and polishing of plate glass to make it clear.
Did you know that vehicle glass is becoming increasingly important to safety and the rigidity of the body (which it contributes to as much as 60%) of vehicles?
The era or super-smart glass from AGC
Today, with increasingly extreme external air temperatures and the growing energy efficiency of cars, the question of maintaining cabin climate comfort is critical. AGC has found the answer by applying its wide experience in coatings. The Technovation centre has developed the HeatControl windshield, which is provided with a multi-functional triple silver coating. HeatControl glass allows light in while blocking infra-red radiation (or heat). With its improved transmittance, the coating can heat the whole surface of the windshield in several minutes without any visible heating grid.