The upcoming Ford GT promises to be a unlikely offering from the Ford Motor Company that will give a tough fight to some of the seasoned supercars in the market. And in the quest to be different and superior, the Ford GT will come loaded with features, powertrain and technology like none other. One such newest technology is the Gorilla glass hybrid windshields.
While many of us have heard about Gorilla glasses in mobiles, the one in question here is manufactured by Corning. The Gorilla glass hybrid windshields are tough, durable, scratch-resistant and about 30 per cent lighter than traditional glass. Ford will be using the new set of windows both as a windshield and the rear engine cover for the GT.
Hau Thai-Tang, Ford group VP – Global purchasing commented, “Gorilla glass hybrid is a great example of how Ford works with suppliers to innovate in every area of our business. Ford GT is setting new standards for innovation through performance and light-weighting, and we’re excited about exploring other applications for this great new technology.”
Said to reduce the damage by glass shattering, the Gorilla glass was introduced in 2007 by Corning to the consumer electronics market. Commissioned specially for the Ford GT, the glass was developed within four months of US-based carmaker asking Corning to do research on a unique formulation for exterior vehicle glass.
Wendell Weeks, CEO, Corning said, “This successful collaboration is one of the reasons we spend R&D resources to develop new innovations and solve tough problems. Ford recognised the significant value of these innovative light-weighting technology and committed significant resources to quickly get it qualified for production applications. We worked with Ford to develop a glass that successfully withstood thousands of hours of durability testing and is now being used in a Ford production vehicle. We are excited to introduce this game changing technology to the market.”
So how's this special glass is manufactured? Well, the new hybrid glass is made with a multilayer approach – separate inner, center and outer layers. The inner layer is a pane of toughened automotive-grade formed hybrid. The central layer is made of an advanced noise-absorbing thermoplastic, while an annealed glass serves as the outer layer.
Combining the three layers result in a glass which is 32 per cent lighter than the windshields and rear engine covers used in other vehicles. Also, the laminate in the new hybrid glass is approximately 25 per cent to 50 per cent thinner, with equal to, or greater strength than traditional laminate. The reduction of thickness from 4-6mm to 3-4mm also results in reduction of weight. The glass is more robust thanks to the advanced processes for contaminant reduction, chemical strengthening and unique edge treatment.
Paul Linden, Ford body exteriors engineer explained, “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 counter-intuitively, that the strengthened interior layer of the windshield is key to the success of the hybrid window.”
While we are already waiting for long for Ford GT to launch, the new technology is making the wait more tough (like the glass itself!). You can check the Ford GT in detail here!