The 2017 Ford 250 GT super car features Gorilla Glass, so the combined weight of all of the glass used on the vehicle weighs 46lbs. This is quite impressive when you consider that the glass on a regular Ford Focus weighs about 80lbs.
This 250 GT super car has been designed to be fast and light. Only 250 of them will be produced, and the car is priced at $400,000. So, while the average consumer will not yet be able to take advantage of a Gorilla Glass windshield, perhaps the technology will be extended to a larger market in the future.
What is Gorilla Glass?
If you own a smart phone or another type of mobile device, you may already be familiar with Gorilla Glass. In 2005, Apple worked with Corning in order to develop a version of the material to use on the screens of the iPhone. Now, about 4 million mobile devices feature Corning-made Gorilla Glass.
While other manufacturers make similar kinds of glass, Corning's Gorilla Glass was the first of its type and remains the most popular. Currently in its fourth generation, Gorilla Glass is a "toughened" glass that has been immersed in a hot potassium salt ion-exchange bath. This process yields a substance that is thin, light and highly damage-resistant.
The Gorilla Glass windows on the 250 GT are technically "hybrid windows." The final product is a three-layer laminate window, with the Gorilla Glass serving as the thin middle layer. Paul Linden, Ford body exteriors engineer has stated:
"During development we tried different glass layer variations before we found a combination that provided both weight savings and the durability needed for exterior automotive glass. We learned that the strengthened interior layer of the windshield was key to the success of the Gorilla Glass hybrid window, and that was a little counter-intuitive and surprising."
It is easy to understand why Ford would be intrigued by the idea of using Gorilla Glass as part of an overall light-weight vehicle such as the 250 GT super car. The body of the car is crafted in carbon fiber, so it makes sense that a glass that weighs so little would be utilized for the windshield and windows.
There is a further advantage of using Gorilla Glass is that it is incredibly scratch and shatter resistant, giving the entire car an advantage as a race car. The material is also better at blocking noise than traditional glass.
Automotive experts agree that it is too soon to tell whether or not the incorporation of Gorilla Glass in window and windshield production will eventually become an industry standard. Right now, the process required for the implementation of the material is expensive and time-consuming (taking 12 extra hours to produce). However, if the process can somehow be streamlined and if the cost of the necessary raw materials comes down, Gorilla Glass hybrid windows may one day be available to mainstream car buyers.
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