The special float glass will withstand extreme temperature fluctuations and mechanical stress in the engine compartments of cars. It is an extremely durable glass with an expansion coefficient matched for the semiconductor, to ensure that the sensor is reliable in extreme heat or cold.
Ulrich Schuster, CEO at Schröder Spezialglas in Ellerau near Hamburg, said:
“We’ve been using this special float glass for over two decades now.
“We’ve used it to produce parts and technical glass that were unrivalled by others.
“Without Borofloat our company wouldn’t even exist.”
Borofloat has high chemical and mechanical resistance, ideal recyclability, extreme optical purity and permeability of infrared rays. It also has good dielectric properties, making it the perfect substrate for antenna systems, which will be used by the ‘connected cars’ of the future to communicate with each other and traffic management systems. Even at GHz frequencies, transmission and reception will not be impaired.
Mr Schuster explained: “With the right tool we can turn special float glass into virtually anything.
“Borofloat is excellent for laser machining.
“It’s virtually challenging us to come up with new projects.”
The speciality glass also opens up entirely new shapes for holographic head-up displays, which show turns or warnings of obstacles directly on the windshield within the driver’s view and is known as augmented reality. This is where the high transparency of this flat glass will help to implement future projection systems in very small areas.
Mr Schuster said: “Soda lime lenses develop a whitish-grey build-up after a year or two and they become blind.
“However, by using Borofloat, lasting brightness can be achieved as the hydrolysis or glass corrosion does not occur.”
Borofloat is made using a microfloat process where the glass ribbon floats on top of a bath of molten tin to then cool down. It is ‘floated’ at temperatures that are up to 200 °C (392 °F) higher with variances under half a degree. This process, which also precisely controls the thickness of the glass, guarantees perfect homogeneity, outstanding flatness and the mirror-like surface of the special float glass by Schott.
Pictured: Borofloat glass