Advanced transparent materials
Polycarbonates and glass solutions lightening the vehicle
The use of glass in automotive started with the idea of segregating the passenger cabin from the driver while providing a panoramic view and less NVH to the occupants. The early carriage type cars were designed like this only. With the advent of assembly line cars and new designs, the entire driver and passenger cabin was encapsulated in a cell, and glass was more extensively used to provide light and a feeling of openness and space in the car. The term automotive glazing is coined to refer to the glass and other transparent materials used in cars. Glazing has become more and more important over time to give the user both the view and feel of the road while ensuring that heat and NVH characteristics are kept to bare minimum. Since the glazing in the automotive is subject to a variety of potential shocks and direct impacts from the running of vehicle as well as external objects like stones, the material needs to be both strong and tough. The glass is therefore often also referred to as safety glass, which protects both the passengers and vehicular structure.