Can Glass Save Gas? PPG Thinks So

On a hot summer day, PPG Industries Inc. workers at its automotive glass plant near Altoona are fabricating specially coated windows the company says can save motorists money at the gas pump.

The coated glass that is cut, heated and shaped into sidelight windows at the Tipton plant, along with windshields and rear windows made in Evansville, Ind., can save motorists up to $66 a year on fuel costs because they won't need to run the air conditioner as much, said Mukesh Rustagi, global product marketing manager for Pittsburgh-based PPG.

The patented metallic coating applied to the inside of two layers of glass molded together reflects about 50 percent of the sun's ultraviolet rays and infrared energy, Rustagi said, in describing PPG's Sungate glass.

PPG's Sungate glass can reduce the temperature in the front seat by 27 degrees, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Col. Sungate is the latest generation of PPG heat-reflecting automotive glass, which has been on the market since the 1970s.

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