As prolonged exposure to sunlight increasingly becomes a health hazard, causing skin problems and even cancer, automakers have started to incorporate glass that blocks harmful ultraviolet light. Japan's Asahi Glass Co (AGC) has added to its portfolio a new line of tempered front window glass called UV Verre Premium Cool on, which it says is the first of its kind to block about 99 percent of ultraviolet radiation, along with infrared (IR) rays.
AGC integrated several of its technologies in glass materials, coatings and chemicals to produce UV Verre Premium Cool. During tests, the tempered glass managed to keep temperatures inside a car 2º C (3.6º F) lower than equivalent tempered products, therefore avoiding what the company calls "a frizzling sensation" – which is another way of saying "a scorching sensation." Skin surface temperature was kept at 39.4º C (102.9º F), while with other models the skin surface temperature was 41.4º C (106.5º F) and frizzling sensation was not avoided.
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The new product builds upon the company's UV Verre Premium glass launched in 2010, which blocks around 99 percent of UV rays (based on ISO 9050 standards) and has been adopted by 15 car models. For the Premium Cool version, AGC has added another layer that absorbs IR light along with making the glass stronger, so it isn't scratched when the window is being opened or closed.
Besides human health issues, the sun-blocking glass improves air-conditioning performance, which consequently contributes to fuel efficiency and higher mileage. This means that on top of helping prevent cancer, the UV- and IR-resistant glass can help mitigate the car’s environmental footprint.
UV Verre Premium Cool on is already available on new cars such as Toyota’s Vitz subcompact units the F "Ciel" and F "Smart Stop."