Laminated Glass Gaining Ground at 2006 North American International Auto Show

More than 40 production and concept vehicles on display at the 2006 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) tout laminated glass in side and rear windows, as well as roof applications, as reported by the Enhanced Protective Glass Automotive Association (EPGAA).

Laminated glass has become a mainstream technology in the automotive industry, with approximately 1.3 million vehicles produced annually with laminated glass.

"It is the goal of the EPGAA to educate the industry and consumers on using laminated glass in applications other than windshields," said Mike Sanders, EPGAA President and director for DuPont Automotive Safety Systems. "We are pleased to see the continued increase in adoption of laminated glass; it shows that automakers and consumers alike are realizing the extended benefits of this technology."

Laminated glass is a high-impact resistant glass technology that automakers and car buyers have trusted for use in windshields for more than 60 years. In addition to windshield applications, laminated glass is being developed specifically for use in side and rear window, and roof applications.

Laminated glass provides four key benefits, to help protect vehicle occupants:

Safety

In addition to meeting global automotive safety standards, laminated glass could help save up to 1,300 lives annually and reduce occupant ejection -- according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Security

With a tough plastic interlayer or film composite, laminated glass provides significant increases to intrusion resistance -- enough to deter most would-be thieves.

Sound Reduction

The interlayer in laminated glass helps provide protection from outside wind and road noises, keeping the car interior quieter and more comfortable. This benefit allows automakers to offer consumers a vehicle with additional value without significantly increasing the cost of the vehicle. Acoustic studies note that laminated glass reduces interior noise by three to four decibels, allowing for better conversation and use of entertainment equipment.

Solar Protection

With the help of an available infrared (IR) reflective coating, laminated glass provides several benefits to the interior of vehicles. Testing has shown vehicles equipped with laminated glass parked in the sun with the windows closed may reduce the effects of solar heat by up to 18 degrees F (10 degrees C) compared to standard tempered glass.

Laminated glass also offers several benefits from harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays to protect vehicle occupants and interiors from the damaging effects of the sun. UV rays cause interior vehicle fabrics to fade and degrade, leather to age, and plastic and vinyl to crack, which laminated glass can help to prevent. According to the Australian Radiation protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPNSA), the laminated glass interlayer also screens up to 95 percent of damaging UV rays, providing a UV protection factor of 50+ SPF.

600450 Laminated Glass Gaining Ground at 2006 North American International Auto Show glassonweb.com

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