Windshield glass has seen continued innovation in the evolution of the automobile. Most fundamentally all glass should satisfy the Department of Transportation (DOT) safety criteria. But on top of that, glass also comes in laminated form which increases safety by reducing shattering into small pieces, and in tempered form which increases the hardness and reduces brittleness. Moreover, the rear glass often comes with fine heating elements embedded in the surface, whereas the windshield has an integrated antenna which reduces the clutter from the old style metallic rod. We asked our experts in windshield installation shop in Murrieta CA about the latest advances.
According to our experts, earlier this year, another great advancement was announced coming out of the genius engineering department of MIT. The scientific journal ACS Nano (American Chemical Society Nano) that focuses on nanotechnology and other material technologies involving structures on very short length scales carried an article that showcased a self-cleaning glass.
The self-cleaning glass not only resists fog and glare, but repels water completely, forcing them to bead up and slide right off. The secret lies in the engineering of nanoscale structures on the surface of the glass in the form of an array of thin cones, so small that one thousand of these cones make up the width of a human hair.
The engineers say that they envision this glass will revolutionize products such as smartphones and tablets which have a surface that’s continuously being touched by human fingers. Solar power might get a powerful boost in the form of panels that never get dirty. In fact, solar panels if left unattended lose almost half their effectiveness after six months due to accumulated dirt. Civilian car companies aren’t the only ones interested as the military would love to have increased control over the material properties of the glass parts of their equipment and vehicles.
(Photo Credit: Randy Heinitz / Creative Commons)