Gorilla Glass may not be a concept, but chances are that you have one in your pocket. The product made by Corning is widely used as a cover glass in smartphones and other mobile devices. Now it is offered as a more sustainable and lighter upgrade option for the Ford F-150, thanks to a collaboration between Corning and car supplier Hyperformance Glass Products.
The replacement windshield is not cheap – it costs $ 899.95, which is more than what you would normally pay for a Ford replacement windscreen or an aftermarket supplier. But suburban Hyperformance-based Detroit offers a two-year warranty for breakage. And because the F-series trucks are the longest-running best-selling vehicle in the US, and are often used as work cars on construction sites – or, in the case of the F-150 Raptor, on off-road tracks where rocks and other debris is often kicked in windshields, well you get it.
It is a hybrid windscreen in which chemically tempered Gorilla Glass replaces the inner layer in the two layers of annealed glass of a traditional windscreen. It is thinner and more flexible, and is said to be 2½ times stronger in resisting shocks from sharp stones five times stronger than conventional windscreens, while it is 30% lighter. They test the stuff by pelting it with large lumps of ice from pneumatic guns to simulate severe hail.
Gorilla Glass also offers windshields for Jeep Wranglers via Mopar, and it comes standard on the Ford GT supercar.
Hyperformance says it is planning to release several other vehicle applications with Gorilla Glass by 2020. In the meantime, it will display its Gorilla Glass windscreens on "current and future" Ford models, including F-series and Mustang trucks, along with live demonstrations of their sustainability, at SEMA in November in Las Vegas.