What Are Ice Free Windshields?

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Scraping ice off a windshield is everybody’s idea of what a horrible start to the day looks like. Automobile manufacturers have been trying to end this nuisance chore for decades. However, the technology seemed to elude them. The first effort used wires to conduct heat. As you can imagine, wires embedded in a windshield did pose problems more numerous than originally anticipated. From 1948 until now, the world has been waiting for the perfected ice-free windshield technology to be developed. Today Volkswagen appears to have successfully created the ice-free windshield.

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Ice-Free Windshield History

Ford was the first automaker to develop an ice-free windshield. Ford’s development was problematic because the wires could be seen easily when headlights of an oncoming car were directed at your windshield. In 1985, Ford introduced Europe to the “Quickclear” windshield. The same windshield was known as “Instaclear” in the U.S. This technology used very thin wires embedded in the glass.

It met with a number of challenges because the wires visible when the light was directed. Also, these wires also interrupted the radio, GPS signals, and radar detectors in the vehicle. Basically, the embedded wires interfered with the magnetic field. Plus, the heat generated by the wires could only operate for ten minutes before shutting off. Furthermore, another main flaw was if one side of the windshield ceased to operate, the whole windshield would require a replacement. Unfortunately, one side not working was a common scenario for the Instaclear windshield.

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Volkswagen’s Windshield Technology

Volkswagen is currently the only automaker that has developed a functioning technology for ice-free-windshields. Volkswagen’s filament-free windshields use a layer of silver that is electrically conductive, wafer-thin, and laminated within the glass. The windshield is completely clear, with nothing interfering with your view.

This wafer-thin silver offers additional benefits. This climate windshield can sever the connection between ice and the windshield quickly with 400-500 watts of power zapping those bonds in minutes.

If you’re worried about your wipers sticking when there’s ice on the windshield, stop. This windshield has built-in filaments that stop the wipers from sticking to the glass. Also, the Volkswagen windshield is ideal for the hot summer because the silver reflects 60% of the sun’s heat, reducing the heat buildup in your car by as much as 15%.

This technology is available only on some Volkswagen models, and no other automakers offer it currently. The climate windshield as it’s called is available for an extra $365 U.S. on the following Volkswagen models: Golf, Golf Sportsvan, Tiguan, Sharan, and Passat.

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Volkswagen’s Ice-Free-Windshield Testing

Volkswagen, the Fraunhofer Institute and Audi, are developing a windshield coating that eliminates ice formation and fog. The coating is a low thermal emission coating that has anti-icing properties. Therefore, the driver does not have to scrape off ice or wait for it to melt off the windshield. This coating has a dual function. It also prevents interior fogging.

The coating is made of a thin layer of indium tin oxide. The only known drawback to the coating is that it blocks cellular reception. This is the only reason the technology has not progressed to production and is still in its testing phase. Volkswagen and its partners plan to proceed with production when the coating has been perfected without any detectable problems.

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Conclusion

Ice-free windshields are one of the best ideas introduced to transportation in decades. Every person living in an area that experiences colder temperatures know what drudgery it is to have to remove ice from a windshield before being able to drive to work, school, etc. Having a new option of paying a little extra to get an ice-free-windshield is well worth it for most people.

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Call Liberty AutoGlass when you need an experienced and dependable auto glass shop in the area. Our team of licensed auto glass technicians can provide superior auto glass services, including chipped windshield repair and windshield replacements. Liberty AutoGlass also works with all major insurance companies. We can handle your claim from start to finish.

The shop has certified technicians with the skills and experience to deal with any related problems. You can expect honest assessments, reasonable and transparent rates, and exceptional services. Call Liberty AutoGlass to schedule a free estimate today.
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