Print 37 comment(s) - last by lark_sky.. on Jun 17 at 5:19 AM

Gorilla Glass will be used in one high-end automobile next year

You may not realize it, but if you own an iPhone you have touched and own a piece of Gorilla Glass from Corning. Gorilla Glass is a special type of glass that is both strong and lightweight.
Because of its strength and scratch resistance, the glass can currently be found in about 1.5 billion electronic devices around the world.
However, the next market Corning is looking to conquer is in the automotive realm. Corning says that Gorilla Glass may be used replace some of the standard glass windows used in automobiles. One clear benefit of using Gorilla Glass in automobiles would be stronger glass that's less likely to break if hit by something like hail or an errant baseball, but that's not the big push for automotive manufacturers.

Automotive manufacturers are looking for every possible way to construct lighter vehicles that will have better fuel efficiency. Using Gorilla Glass could help reduce the vehicle's weight and lower its center of mass helping to improve fuel economy by a few percent. The exact improvement in fuel economy would depend on how much of the Gorilla Glass was used in the vehicle.

Corning senior vice president Jeffrey Evensen says that vehicles that use Gorilla Class will also be quieter inside. Evensen didn't name names, but he did say that at least one high-end automotive manufacturer will offer cars that use some Gorilla Glass within the next year.

Another interesting new product that Corning is working on is called Willow Glass. This is a glass material that is flexible like plastic, and described as being as thin as a dollar bill with the durability and stability of normal glass.

Source: Technology Review

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Won't work
By ralstig on 6/11/2013 9:32:16 AM , Rating: 5
It might actually be TOO strong. Strength of automotive glass was never a problem. It's what happens when the glass breaks. Current "safety glass" is designed so it breaks into tiny, non-sharp pieces. Would they be able to replicate that characteristic?

Plus, sometimes you need to be able to break the glass to escape.

RE: Won't work
By quiksilvr on 6/11/2013 9:37:03 AM , Rating: 2
My thoughts exactly. If automobile makers placed that much priority over making vehicles lighter, they would have just made the glass some form of plastic, which they do for the rear window but not anywhere else because of the reasons stated above.

RE: Won't work
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 9:48:51 AM , Rating: 1
Since when is a rear window plastic? Pretty sure those are glass as well.

RE: Won't work
By Flunk on 6/11/2013 10:01:25 AM , Rating: 2
Some models of car, particularly soft tops but also a few hard tops do have plastic rear windows.

RE: Won't work
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 10:05:56 AM , Rating: 2
Of course a convertible will, name one hard top that does, I have never seen such a thing.

RE: Won't work
By aliasfox on 6/11/2013 10:44:39 AM , Rating: 2
Renault Megane R26.R

At one point, the fastest front wheel drive car on the Nurburgring. Don't know if it still is. Back windows are glass.

RE: Won't work
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 10:53:06 AM , Rating: 2
So you point out a car and then say it's glass? Which is it? Plastic or glass? Because looking over that car on the web, it appears to have a heated back window, not sure plastic would fare to well with heated windows.

RE: Won't work
By aliasfox on 6/11/2013 11:03:23 AM , Rating: 2
Oops - plastic. Mistype there. Backlight and back side windows.

RE: Won't work
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 11:08:00 AM , Rating: 2
polycarbonate windows

RE: Won't work
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 11:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
Also, that is bad ass looking car, love it!

RE: Won't work
By Apone on 6/11/2013 2:09:25 PM , Rating: 2
I do believe the Porsche Boxster has a glass rear window soft top as well as the Ford Mustang.

RE: Won't work
By Samus on 6/11/2013 3:45:46 PM , Rating: 2
The real advantage here might be to use Gorilla glass for its strength in aiding the structural integrity of the vehicle. If the glass is strong, other parts like A/B pillars and roof can be made lighter weight.

RE: Won't work
By BRB29 on 6/11/2013 12:21:56 PM , Rating: 2
Reminds me of Lexan glass I had on my 3000GT VR4

RE: Won't work
By lennylim on 6/11/2013 7:25:18 PM , Rating: 2
The front windscreen is actually designed NOT to shatter, but to stay in one piece. Imagine thousands of small pieces of glass flying into your face and eyes when a stone breaks the windscreen. Ugh.

As for plastic, they scratch easily compared to glass. I believe a lot of them also lose clarity over time, not ideal for front windscreen though not as critical for rear.

RE: Won't work
By lark_sky on 6/17/2013 5:19:38 AM , Rating: 2
yah.what if your stuck and the glass wont break.

RE: Won't work
By gtrinku on 6/11/2013 4:21:21 PM , Rating: 2
Actually most high strength glass (all that I know of, at least) is guaranteed to break into tiny pieces. The way it attains its high strength is by induced internal tensile stresses, which close any surface cracks and avoid their propagation. When such glass finally gives way, the internal stresses rip it apart into countless little pieces, sometimes with explosive results (search Prince Rupert's Drop on Youtube for some cool demonstrations of this effect).

RE: Won't work
By lelias2k on 6/11/2013 5:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
I think you're missing the point in the strength area: if they use a stronger glass, they can make it thinner and therefore lighter, while maintaining the same strength as regular glass. The goal here is not stronger glass, but lighter.

As for the importance of breaking into little pieces, I agree with you.

RE: Won't work
By Mint on 6/13/2013 1:44:28 PM , Rating: 2

I have a feeling that Corning is thinking about making plastic windows with a Gorilla Glass coating. They'd be lighter, scratch resistant, able to deflect more without cracking, but still can be broken in an emergency.

Sounds cool.

RE: Won't work
By Wombat_56 on 6/11/2013 8:24:10 PM , Rating: 2

"It might actually be TOO strong. Strength of automotive glass was never a problem. It's what happens when the glass breaks. Current "safety glass" is designed so it breaks into tiny, non-sharp pieces. Would they be able to replicate that characteristic?"

Modern windscreen glass is LAMINATED. it's not meant to break up into little pieces.

RE: Won't work
By Calin on 6/12/2013 2:53:36 AM , Rating: 2
The front windshield must not create sharp pieces, if possible must not fall into the passenger's compartment, and must not shatter - in order to maintain as much as a clear field of view forward as possible.
I'm not sure about the rear window - but the side windows are certainly made to be easy to break, and break into non-sharp pieces

RE: Won't work
By FITCamaro on 6/12/2013 7:55:14 AM , Rating: 2
I've never seen a cell phone screen shatter into sharp shards (say those last 5 words five times fast).

I would not expect this to be an issue. Even if it potentially was, they could coat the glass in the same material they do traditional glass.

RE: Won't work
By tastyratz on 6/12/2013 12:47:15 PM , Rating: 2
Tempering glass? Yes they can temper gorilla glass to make safety glass, that is easy and obviously a requirement. They wont turn your ferarri into a guillotine.

The difference here is 2 fold: stronger glass means they can use THINNER and lighter glass for the same end result. It does not always mean you will be trapped. You cant break a windshield without a pinprick hammer anyways, you can barely break it with a regular nail hammer.

The second gain of gorilla glass is abrasion resistance. This will result in windshields that last longer and get less pitting over time. I welcome this change.

The only negative I can think of is wind noise. Thinner glass tends to make compartment pass through much more noticed.

RE: Won't work
By EricMartello on 6/15/2013 12:01:11 AM , Rating: 2
They could sandwich the glass between two layers of thin polymer film. They already do this with the windshield, so when it breaks it doesn't actually shatter since the plastic sheets hold it together.

The only problem with that would be on the side windows, where you may want them to shatter into pieces to allow for an emergency exit.

Safety tempering
By docawolff on 6/11/2013 9:32:20 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if they can temper Gorilla Glass to make it fragment instead of forming shards on breaking?

RE: Safety tempering
By cpeter38 on 6/11/2013 10:16:48 AM , Rating: 3
Its ok, they are iShards ...

RE: Safety tempering
By Motoman on 6/11/2013 11:01:27 AM , Rating: 2
Ow! I got an iShard in my iEye! I need an iMedic!

RE: Safety tempering
By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 12:35:15 PM , Rating: 2
Get this man an iMedic iStat!

RE: Safety tempering
By Captain Orgazmo on 6/11/2013 7:44:33 PM , Rating: 2
It IS a type of tempered glass. If they tempered it to explode on surface layer damage like safety glass, then it wouldn't be tough like it is...

Not Gorilla Glass
By CZroe on 6/11/2013 11:14:10 AM , Rating: 2
My understanding is that Apple has not used Gorilla Glass in any recent phone (have they ever?). People just keep calling their chemically-hardened mineral glass "Gorilla Glass" because it's basically the same thing.
Apple and their products don't even show up in their list of manufacturers and products using it: l-products-list

Apple would be a big feather in their cap if they were using it and, if anything, they would love having a marketable name for their product introductions (anything is better than "mineral glass"), so I doubt they are contractually silent about their relationship.

RE: Not Gorilla Glass
By aliasfox on 6/11/2013 11:59:29 AM , Rating: 3
According to Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs, his interview with the CEO of Corning indicates quite strongly that the iPhone was the impetus for manufacturing Gorilla Glass in the first place. Before Corning was approached by Apple, Gorilla Glass had never been marketed.

According to CNN:

The CEO of Corning has stated that every iPhone and iPad ever produced uses Gorilla Glass - look for the paragraph that starts with 'lily pads' and read from there.

Apple generally does not go about advertising its suppliers, and Corning likely goes by those wishes. Apple only markets CPUs and GPUs because it's expected of them, but have you ever seen them market:
- Sandforce controllers in their SSDs (used in MBAs)
- Wolfson (and later Cirrus Logic) DACs in iPods/iPhoens
- Synaptics touch controls (I think - in the trackpads)
- Samsung and LG displays (desktop monitors, retina laptop and phone displays)
- Pioneer DVD Burners (marketed as 'Superdrives' when Apple first released them)

RE: Not Gorilla Glass
By drewsup on 6/12/2013 7:46:14 AM , Rating: 2
uhmmm.. wrong! Gorilla Glass was invented in the late 50's, it was just too expensive and there were no real world applications for it at the time. Apple was coming out with the first iphone and asked Corning if they had anything thinner and stronger than regular old glass. after a quick search, they realized they had come up with it ages ago. I think Discovery channel had a story on this, i remember the engineer who came up with the formula being kind of miffed that his invention had been ignored for so long.

RE: Not Gorilla Glass
By aliasfox on 6/12/2013 7:40:47 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I should have been more clear. My wording's correct, but could be misconstrued.

Corning already had the formula for Gorilla Glass, and they've had it since the middle of the century. But due to price, marketing, or whatever, they couldn't find anybody to use it, so it was abandoned.

Enter Apple and the iPhone - it may not be everyone's favorite phone, but when you make one phone that's guaranteed to sell in the 10s (if not hundreds) of millions of units during its lifetime, suppliers will sit up and figure out how to get their components into your phone.

By Cheesew1z69 on 6/11/2013 9:16:14 AM , Rating: 5
You may not realize it, but if you own an iPhone you have touched and own a piece of Gorilla Glass from Corning.
Pretty sure most smartphones in the last 2 years at minimum, have used it... not just the iphone.

Exciting stuff!
By techxx on 6/11/2013 9:06:49 AM , Rating: 2
Always been fascinated with Gorilla glass. Cool future ahead of us!

RE: Exciting stuff!
By AntiM on 6/11/2013 9:54:16 AM , Rating: 2
I would like to see them develop fiber optic cable that's as easy to deploy and work with as CAT-5 cable.

Missing info
By AskTheChief on 6/11/2013 12:05:05 PM , Rating: 4
It sure would have been nice to see the author add some examples of how much weight would be saved for a few different cars and trucks.

That's what we need
By semo on 6/11/2013 9:20:09 AM , Rating: 2
Branded glass? One more trademark name to pay for in already overpriced vehicles.

I hope this technology stays in the high end segment until all relevant patents expire.

"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov
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