Image: Tesla patent
Tesla patents glass for Cybertruck with feature lines and curves. A new method of making it allows the company to make aggressive curves or folds in the glass. Glass produced in this way can be used both for the exterior of the car and for interior trim.
In February 2021, Tesla filed the patent, “Automotive Glass Structure having feature lines and related methods of manufacture,” the details of which were published on January 19, 2023. The invention described in it relates to glass structures for use in automotive vehicles. The peculiarity of such glass is that it has curved feature lines. The patent also describes the processes of its manufacture.
Tesla explains that passenger vehicles typically have a curved front windshield to protect the driver and reduce wind resistance during use. Vehicles usually also have various side and rear windows, including different shapes and curvatures. The manufacturing processes for such windows usually begin with a flat sheet of glass that is cut to the desired dimensions and then heated in a furnace to a temperature sufficient to slightly bend or curve the glass into the desired shape.
The manufacturer states that the standard manufacturing processes for glass structures are limited by the amount of curvature or bending achievable with the glass. For example, typically only smooth, high radius of curvature (e.g., a radius of curvature of 1-3 meters or more) is used for automotive glass structures, according to the patent.
Tesla describes several different processes for forming an automotive glass structure that has one or more characteristic lines (or curves/bends). For example, in one embodiment, the application of localized heat to one or more locations on a glass structure is described, causing the glass structure to flex at the location of the localized heat. In another example, the glass structure is supported by a support tool such that, when subjected to localized heat and gravity causes the glass structure to bend in one or more places, thereby forming a characteristic line or bend in the glass. In some examples, additional forces may be applied to the glass structure, such as by means of a press, vacuum air suction, or the like, to assist in bending or shaping the glass structure. Various other glass structures and processes are contemplated in the patent.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.