Solutia Inc. is looking to expand the market reach of its windshield glass with a new line of higher-performance systems under the Vanceva brand name.
The company's bread-and-butter product line will remain the Saflex system used worldwide in vehicle windshields.
"People started asking us, 'What if we bump up this or that feature,' whether for security or color or noise," said Greg Wilson, director of public and government affairs for Solutia.
Wilson expects the first commercial applications to make their appearance this year.
Solutia also will continue to debut other versions of Vanceva laminants featuring a mix of performance qualities, such as noise control or ultraviolet-light protection. Meanwhile, the company is continuing to push the Saflex brand, especially in the auto industry, trying to convince automakers to use laminated glass in side and rear windows.
The lamination, promoted generically under the name Enhanced Protective Glass, already goes into windshields. Side and rear windows typically use a safety glass designed to break into small pieces when struck.
The new Vanceva layer keeps glass intact longer, reducing the potential for an occupant to be ejected through a broken window during a crash and also thwarting thieves.
Less than 1 million of the more than 40 million cars and trucks produced worldwide each year now carry all Enhanced Protective Glass windows, typically appearing in luxury cars. Vanceva is aimed to focus on the high-end options even beyond the typical laminated glass.
It takes more than two minutes to break through a window equipped with Vanceva Secure, for instance, Wilson said. A standard glass withstands blows for about 40 seconds.
Said Wilson: "It's great for us to continue to make Saflex. But we're also looking at adding value for higher-end products."