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February 1, 2024
2 Min Read
A Corning Fusion5 Glass windshield.Corning
We have all been introduced to the durability benefits of chemically hardened glass as the result of the popularization of Corning Gorilla Glass in Apple’s iPhone.
But that 1960s fighter jet cockpit glass technology debuted in consumer electronics more than 15 years ago with the iPhone, so naturally Corning has continued developing it. Today, vehicles like the Jeep Wrangler employ Gorilla Glass for their windshield because off-roaders are at greater risk of glass breakage.
Corning is aiming to make its glass technology relevant to other vehicles with the introduction of Fusion5, which is lighter, more impact resistant, and more optically accurate than regular soda-lime glass. It also lets carmakers trim more than 30 lbs. of weight from their vehicles, according to Corning.
This pays benefits in terms of vehicle efficiency, resistance to damage, and the performance of driver assistance systems whose sensors look through the windshield.
Fusion5 glass is used in the outer layer of laminated windshields, while the other layers remain unchanged. It is 12 percent lighter than the outer layer of traditional soda-lime glass, which contributes to fuel efficiency, or more critically, EV driving range.
It is also four times as resistant to sharp impact damage than conventional glass. Nobody wants to deal with the headache of a broken windshield, but this is especially crucial for modern vehicles whose safety system sensors are mounted to the windshield. These sensors not only must be reinstalled on replacement windshields, they must also be recalibrated, making windshield replacement much less trivial and more expensive than it has been traditionally.
Corning is also targeting commercial vehicles for Fusion5, because windshield breakage costs companies with commercial fleets money in lost time that vehicles are available.
When Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) sensors are mounted to the windshield, they’ll benefit from the fact that Fusion5 has double the optical clarity of regular glass, for improved system performance.
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