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Tesla filed a patent 'Functional interlayers for vehicle glazing systems'

by Eva Fox January 31, 2020

Tesla filed a patent 'Functional interlayers for vehicle glazing systems'

Windows used in passenger vehicles such as cars, trucks, and the like are typically made of by combining two layers of glass and a layer of polymer, such as polyvinyl butyral. However, conventional vehicle windows like these have certain limitations, including placing decorations or functional components on the glass itself. Processes for adding the decorations or functional components to the window during manufacturing may introduce defects to the finished window, such as lowering the overall strength of the structure or creating micro fractures. These defects may in turn increase the chances of a critical failure in the structure or introduce undesirable properties to the windows such as optical distortion.

The present disclosure relates to glass structures for use in vehicles and more particularly to glass structures including an interlayer stack made of diverse materials for increased strength and functionality.

Application Date: 26.07.2019
Publication Date: 30.01.2020

As the size and number of glass structures used in vehicles increases it may be desirable for the glass structures to be adaptable for a wider range of applications. Incorporating these glass structures into vehicles may require a higher strength than conventional systems, a wider variety of decoration design choices, and a desire for increased functionality of the glass. One way to accomplish these goals is to increase the functionality of the layers that make the glass structure by incorporating an interlayer stack between two layers of glass instead of a single interlayer (e.g., a polymer layer) present in conventional systems. Using an interlayer stack allows for improvements in the design and manufacturing of the glass structure that increase the overall strength of the structure, while increasing the flexibility of decoration and functional design choices.

In some embodiments, a glass structure for a vehicle includes an outer layer of glass, an inner layer of glass, and an interlayer stack disposed between opposing surfaces of the outer layer of glass and the inner layer of glass, wherein the interlayer stack includes at least two interlayer substrates and at least one of the interlayer substrates includes a decorative treatment. In some embodiments, a glass structure for a vehicle includes an outer layer of glass, an inner layer of glass, and an interlayer stack disposed between opposing surfaces of the outer layer of glass and the inner layer of glass, wherein the interlayer stack includes at least two interlayer substrates and at least one of the interlayer substrates includes a functional component.

The present disclosure provides examples of systems and techniques for providing a glass structure (e.g., window) to be used in a vehicle. Exemplary structures disclosed are capable of providing increased strength and functionality when used in vehicles relative to conventional glass structures. In one example, the increased strength of the glass structure is provided by incorporating an interlayer stack instead of a single interlayer substrate of material between two panes of glass. The interlayer stack includes multiple interlayer substrates on which desired decorations or functional elements may be incorporated. By incorporating these elements on the interlayer substrates themselves less stress is placed on the layers of glass during manufacturing.

For example, in conventional window structures any decoration is typically comprised of ceramic frits which must be fired with a layer of glass in order to adhere the ceramic to the glass. This process lowers the overall strength of the glass and increases the probability of creating a defect. Conversely, in the exemplary structures disclosed herein the decorations may be printed onto the interlayer substrate. This process can be performed before incorporating the substrate into the glass structure and allows the layers of glass to retain the strength by not exposing the glass to the forces of ceramic firing. Conventional window structures may also have decreased dimensional stability and increased optical distortion due to conventional manufacturing processes.

Glass structure 400 includes an outer layer of glass 401, an interlayer stack 402, and an inner layer of glass 403. Interlayer stack 402 is disposed between opposing surfaces of the outer layer of glass 401 and the inner layer of glass 403. Interlayer stack 402 is comprised of at least two interlayer substrates, 404 and 405.

Interlayer substrate 404 further includes decorative treatment 406. Decorative treatment 406 is printed directly onto interlayer substrate 404 and is disposed between interlayer substrates 404 and 405. Interlayer substrate 405 further includes functional component 407. Functional component 407 is attached directly to interlayer substrate 405 and is disposed between interlayer substrates 404 and 405. In some embodiments, interlayer substrate 404 includes functional component 407. In some embodiments, interlayer substrate 405 includes decorative treatment 406.

The glass structures described herein can be used in vehicles in various ways to create surfaces with increased strength and improved functionality. Thus, safer, more aesthetic and useful windows can be integrated into vehicles, as a result of which the vehicle can perform more functions in a more flexible way.

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Featured image: u/oarasaiah / Reddit




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