Glazing in the vehicle body is able to play a vital role which focuses on enhancing both the strength and stiffness of the vehicle body. In automotive and vehicle body design, the glazing has critical characteristics which it plays to improve better designs (Mohammad, 2011). Automobiles are judges by different aspects and glazing is one of crucial such component used. Glazing evolution has taken place for a long time. The glazing manufacturers look to improve the various characteristics of the glazing systems in order to meet the user’s needs (Teicher & Hüttentechnische, 2006). Glazing is connected with the use of glass in the vehicle design. There are different aspects which the glazing aspect has to respond to ensure safety and aesthetics of the design are achieved. The glazing manufacturers are in constant innovation era in order to provide technical solutions in order to meet the automobile manufacturer’s aspects as well as end users aspects of vehicle design. The glazing manufacturers have to consider the aspects of comfort, safety and security ad they design the glazing systems for the automobiles.
There are some key characteristics which the glazing systems have to meet in the automobile body design aspects. Some of the key characteristics which are related to the glazing factors include the better visibility for the driver and other passengers in the vehicle. Visibility in the automobile is a crucial parameter which enhances the security and accident-free cars. The glazing systems play the most critical parts in ensuring that the users of the autos have a wide view of the road (Robert Bosch et al, 2014). The increased look provides that the drivers are able to make their decisions without being limited to the view options. The increased visibility is meant to ensure that the will react to situations and make viable choices to avoid collisions. Excellent visibility is one of the key characteristics which enhance the safety and visual comfort of the automobile. Some of the key issues which the glazing factor addresses regarding vision are the reduction of bright sunlight glare, rain smears on the windscreen among others (Marur, 2013). Windshield installation nowadays is done at an angle, which plays a significant part in the glare. This characteristic helps to enhance the viewing of the driver.
Another key characteristic of the glazing system of the automobiles is the safety and security of the end user of the automobile (David & Hayes, 2015). In addition, the lamination is done through ‘sandwiching’ plastic between the glasses. During an impact, although the glazing may fracture, the plastic interlayer will hold the pieces and therefore able to enhance the safety of the passengers. The plastic ensures that the hazards of the sharp glass during accidents are reduced (Yamaguchi & Takasu, 2015). The glazing factor and especially on the windscreen is able to absorb energy during impacts and prevent the injection of the driver and passenger. Moreover, the laminated glass on the windows is able to enhance the performance of the automobile airbags. The glass is able to offer the necessary support during and inflation.
Another critical characteristic of the automotive glazing in the vehicle body is a better protection from temperature changes. Solar control glazing is a key characteristic which can enhance the temperature protection. The solar glazing has a crucial coating which is able to reduce the transmission of the solar heat from the external environment (Aldinger, 2015). The glazing factors can reduce the heat by over 25% of the heat penetration of the solar radiations. Some of the critical glazing used to enhance these characteristics includes the use of dark tinted glazing and switchable glazing. These glazings can control the amount of solar heat entering the automobile cabin and therefore controlling the amount of heat. The glazing systems are able to reflect or absorb the solar radiations at any instance and therefore to control the heat inside.
Moreover, the glazing systems have been enhanced to achieve the reduction of weight in the automobiles. The use of acoustic vinyl has been able to play a key role in the reduction of the glazing systems. The aspects of these glazing systems have ended up shading a lot of weight for the automotive and therefore saving on fuel consumption.
Moreover, the glazing system is used in the control of noise entering the cabin. Making the automobile interior quieter and more comfortable is a key quest for the engineers (Palmen, 2017). The glazing systems are used to reduce the noise, vibration and harshness in the automotive industry.
The increase in the thickness of the glass has been used to enhance the noise reduction. The use of acoustic glass in the glazing systems has enhanced the effectiveness of the noise reduction within the automotive. The frequencies of the interlayer of the acoustic glass are able to lie between 1500 Hz and 5,000 Hz (Chen et al., 2017). Moreover, the use of the acoustic vinyl has been able to ensure that the designers are able to reduce the thickness of the windshield without negative effects on the noise penetration. The acoustic glazing consists of two or more sheets of glass, which are bonded together into one or more acoustic interlayer. These interlayers are able to act as noise dampening core. The layers help to weaken the sound as it travels through the glass and ensure that the noise pollution within the cabin is reduced. Moreover, the use of acoustic glazing is related to the enhanced safety of the automotive. The noise inside is known to reduce the driver's effectiveness over time. Nevertheless, there is a limit on the damping of the glass. Due to this constraint, laminated glass is used, where plastic is used within the glass (Sekurit, 2017). One of the major disadvantages of this method is that it changes the vibration energy into heat energy. The heat energy produced is likely to increase the temperatures within the cabin and therefore reducing the comfort of the automotive.
Some of the key advantages achieved due to the key characteristics include. Increase in the use of laminated glazing system is able to increase the structural strength of the glazing system. The laminated glazing system means that the system will be able to absorb forces during collisions and therefore enhancing the safety measures. The major achievement which is attained in this factor is less fuel consumption for the automobiles. The reduction in the width of the glazing systems is usually taking place each day (Sharma, 2017). This ensures that the automobiles consume less fuel.
Engineers and glazing manufacturers are always looking on different aspects in order to enhance the glazing materials and uses to suit the different needs of the automotive designers and end users aspects. In the efforts to reduce the weight in automotive, key ideas to reduce the glazing from the available 2.5 mm to 2.1 mm are underway (Lambauer, Fahl & Voss, 2013). This reduction is key to ensure that the whole weight of the automobile is reduced. The reduction will ensure that the fuel consumption by the automobile is achieved and therefore enhancing the operational efficiency of the design.
In addition, in order to enhance the structural capability of the glazing system, different materials have been used and still being researched. The role of glazing in enhancing the securing of the automobiles cannot be ignored. The security feature has led to the use of composite glass and other new materials in the glazing systems (Palmer, 2015). Moreover, the research on materials to be used is to enhance the reduction of the glazing thickness (Happian-Smith, 2001). Use of glass/plasticid layers is a new technology which is being researched to enhance the glazing systems.
The glazing systems are looking to enhance speed, fuel and any issues which are connected with the parts of the automobiles. Another key upcoming technology is the use of augmented reality (AR) technology (Wypych, 2013). This technology involves the use of the glazing systems to provide the users of the automobiles with digital information. With the Heads Up Display (HUD) programs already on the automobiles, the AR technology will help the driver with live feeds on what to expect.
In addition, the uses of polycarbonates in the automotive industry and more specifically on the glazing systems are projected to enhance weight reduction. This technology is likely to enhance 50% weight reduction and therefore enhance reduction of fuel usage and CO2 pollution from the fuels (Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya et al., 2015). The implementation of PC on the windshield is underway. This is seen to be a key way to enhance the weight reduction on the glazing systems and the automobiles.
In addition, another area which is being focused a lot is on the use of Gorilla Glass on the glazing systems. The Gorilla Glass is thin, and therefore this technology and development will ensure that the weight reduction in automobiles is achieved. The structural aspect of the glass is high, and this is a key factor which the glazing system will be able to achieve from the use of technology (Mennig et al., 2010). Due to the reduced weight, low fuel consumption will be another key advantage which will be achieved from the implementation of this technology. Nevertheless, a key disadvantage of increased heat in the automobile cabin will be a key aspect which will need to be resolved. Due to the low penetration of heat, the glass may help to increase the temperatures within the cabin.
The future developments in progress have some key advantages. The GG is known to be tough and has high resistance to damage. The high resistance enhance the security of the automobiles at different stages. The AR technology is also looking at enhancing the vision within the surrounding including the landscape while monitoring the driver’s eyes and head movements. The enhanced visions gives the driver different option on making wide decisions. The decline in fuel consumption is a key focus and advantage which the advanced technologies will safety and security measures. The innovation on new materials which will ensure that the weight of automobiles is reduced is being done.
In conclusion, glazing systems are able to play key roles in the automobile industry. The different characteristics of the glazing systems are able to enhance the proper functioning of the automotive. More importantly, some of the characteristics are able to focus on strengthening the safety, comfort, aesthetic and security of the end users of the automobiles (Tovey, 2012). Visibility is a key aspect and feature of the glazing systems. The systems should be able to ensure that the automobile users are able to view wide range and enhance the safety. In addition, another fundamental characteristic of the glazing systems is to ensure that the noise inside the automobile cabin is minimised. Moreover, there are future plans to enhance the glazing systems in the automobile industry. Different technologies such as Gorilla Glass are being anticipated to be used in this industry. Other future techniques which are being looked at include the use of polycarbonates, augmented reality (AR) technology and use of different composites in the glazing systems. These technologies are being done to enhance the functionality of the glazing systems.
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