The Ford GT is the first vehicle to use a lightweight Gorilla Glass windshield
By Steve Turner
Photos courtesy of Ford Motor Company
If you own a smart phone, you’ve probably at least heard of Gorilla Glass. This hybrid glass technology is lightweight, scratch resistant and more durable than traditional glass. Because Ford engineers were looking at advanced materials to reduce weight, they contacted Corning, the maker of Gorilla Glass, to develop the technology for automotive applications. The collaboration was obviously fruitful, as the new Ford GT is the first production vehicle to employ a Gorilla Glass windshield.
“Gorilla Glass hybrid is a great example of how Ford works with suppliers to innovate in every area of our business,” Ford group vice president, Global Purchasing, Hau Thai-Tang said. “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.”
You can learn more about the technology here…
Engineers from both companies created a hybrid glass that uses multiple layers using an annealed glass outer panel backed by a thermoplastic interlayer. It allows for a window that is 25 to 50 percent thinner than traditional windshields. Moreover, that interlayer is adept at absorbing noise, so it will also be used on the Ford GT’s clear engine cover.
“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,” Ford body exteriors engineer Paul Linden said. “We learned, somewhat counter-intuitively, that the strengthened interior layer of the windshield is key to the success of the hybrid window.”
The thinner windshield and engine cover still proved quite durable, and passed Ford’s extensive projectile, rollover and wind tunnel testing.
“In addition to the new hybrid technology for the exterior glass of Ford GT, we’re using a unique glass combination for the bulkhead panel between passenger cell and engine bay,” Paul added. “We’re excited that we can use tailored glass applications to meet specific needs and provide maximum weight savings.”
While it’s great that the windshield and engine cover are thinner and more durable than traditional automotive glass, but the real win for a vehicle with the performance intentions of the Ford GT is that the windshield and engine cover are 32 percent lighter than those found on competitive vehicles.
Ford is certainly pulling out all the stops on its latest super car, and we expect this technology will eventually trickle down to the rest of us.