Ford is collaborating with glass company Corning Inc. to develop a special type of car windshield that’s so durable that it can reportedly withstand the impact of golf ball-sized hail.
The glass is known as Gorilla Glass, and despite being roughly 30 percent lighter than a conventional car windshield, it’s also tougher. On top of that, the lighter weight also allows for a lower center of gravity, which increases handling performance. The reduced weight also translates to improved fuel economy.
Gorilla Glass is about three to four millimeters thick, compared to about four to six millimeters for conventional windshields. The windshield for a compact car like the 2016 Ford Focus weighs about 80 pounds. Gorilla Glass will reduce that weight by about 12 pounds or so.
Early testing so far shows a lot of promise. Testers shot golf ball-sized hail at 55 miles per hour right into Gorilla Glass, and it has successfully held up. As tough as it is, though, it can be cut through using powered extraction tools, which would enable rescue workers to penetrate the glass to rescue a trapped driver or passenger.
According to Ford, the development of the glass took about two years to complete. While the addition of such glass will mean a higher vehicle price, the automaker is confident that it will receive a positive reception from consumers especially in areas prone to heavy storms and rainfall.
It’s no surprise that Ford is always at the forefront of such technology. Once the Gorilla Glass becomes an optional add-on, expect it to grace most of the brand’s lineup. Visit our Ford dealership near Elk Grove if you want to learn more about it or just want to browse our inventory.