A man and his wife got a nasty, wintry surprise this week when a chunk of snow fell from a semitrailer and shattered their car's windshield on a Canadian freeway.
Let's file this one away in the category of "Why didn't I think of that?" A Detroit company called has built a set of wiper arms that will smack themselves agains the windshield, shaking ice and snow loose. It's a product of a company called Motor City Wiper. These systems aren't for sale yet, although the company is currently looking for an angel investor for the product, after shopping it around to automakers and suppliers and being disappointed by the level of interest.
Today's automotive windshields are commonly made with two layers of tempered glass sandwiching a sheet of optically clear polyvinyl butyral (PVB), a plastic layer that holds everything in place even when the glass is broken. While the basic design works very well (credit Henry Ford with introducing laminated glass in 1919), scratches and chips in the glass weaken the material to the point where it may eventually crack and require replacement.
Volkswagen is out to give us all a little taste of better living through chemistry. The company has partnered up with the minds at the Fraunhofer Institute to develop a windshield that's resistant to fog, frost and ice. The scientists managed to apply a thin layer of indium tin oxide to the outer layer of the glass, and they say that the compound does a good job of keeping frost from forming all the way down to zero degrees Fahrenheit. Pretty impressive.
If you use standard tap water in your windshield washer fluid reservoir instead of a cleaner, you may have effectively turned your vehicle into a biological weapon. Sure, that sounds cool and all, but according to BBC News, the only person you're going to be hurting is yourself. As it turns out, using plain water can cause the washer fluid system to become a breeding ground for Legionella bacterium – the same nastiness that causes Legionaires' Disease and pneumonia. Spray your windshield a
Microheat Inc., the company responsible for inventing and supplying General Motors with their HotSpot windshield cleaning system, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The technology utilized heated liquid to clean the front glass of debris, ice, and snow. Unfortunately, a short circuit on a printed circuit board could overheat and lead to a fire (removing contaminants from much more than just the front windshield). As a result, GM recalled 944,000 vehicles and dropped Microheat, and t
We all know that dropping our old cars in landfills instead of reusing the valuable resources that make up the mass is not good. The EU has, indeed, a directive that forces 85 percent of cars to be recyclable at the end of their lifespan. In case you're wondering just what might be the result of all this recycling, here's something that caught our interest. UncommonGoods has created a series of wine and beer glasses, plus a fishbowl, that are made from used windshields. These don't come as cheap
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