2016 Enlighten Award in Review – No. 7: Pittsburgh Glass Works

6th June 2017 by altairenlighten.com

Today’s look back at the 2016 Altair Enlighten Award highlights that there are no areas of a vehicle that shouldn’t be considered for weight saving potential. Pittsburgh Glass Works (PGW) nomination concerned the development of a lightweight glass components and associated attachments for the Ford GT Supercar.

The glazing system made use of Aluminosilicate and traditional Soda lime hybrid laminate constructions, and utilized chemical tempering to create the thin yet strong hybrid laminates in the GT’s windshield, reducing the weight by more than 30 percent compared to the standard windshield construction. The windshield application was the first of its kind in the automotive OEM production market, offering advantages in strength and optics as well as weight.

In order to approve the glass for use in the vehicle PGW had to perform extensive component level testing that included extensive component level testing, wind tunnel vehicle testing, R43 complete performance validation and roof crush (IIHS and FMVSS).

PGW’s nomination impressed with innovation in an area of vehicle design that we perhaps do not think about enough when we consider weight savings potential. Like all areas of vehicle development, glass manufacturers need to find the ideal balance between weight and performance. This entry highlights that if the weight of windshields can be reduced by more than 30% while still meeting safety standards then what other opportunities are we missing throughout a vehicle?