The strong, scratch-resistant glass used in more than 1.5 billion smartphones and tablets worldwide is tipped to debut in cars within the next 12 months.
‘Gorilla Glass’, manufactured by US glassmaker Corning, is used almost exclusively across the world’s most popular electronic devices, including the Apple iPhone and iPad, Samsung Galaxy, and a range of HTC, LG, Motorola and Nokia products because of its durability, chip-resistant and lightweight properties.
In an interview with MIT Technology Review, Corning senior vice president Jeffery Evenson said he expects at least one luxury car maker to incorporate Gorilla Glass into its vehicles by mid 2014.
Used to replace the standard glass in car windows, Evenson says Gorilla Glass could help reduce a vehicle’s weight, leading to fuel economy gains, and lower its centre of gravity, leading to improved performance and dynamics.
Evenson also claimed Gorilla Glass would provide better sound insulation, improving cabin quietness.
The material is also recyclable, reducing its environmental impact.
Unsurprisingly, Gorilla Glass is more expensive than the material used for today’s conventional car windows and windscreens, which typically consists of two curved sheets of glass with a plastic layer laminated between them, suggesting it is likely to remain the domain of prestige car makers, at least in the near future.