Gentex expands work on thin-glass laminating technology

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Gentex said it foresees numerous potential aircraft uses for the new technology, including glass dust panels and mirrors for use in lavatories, cabins and galleys. Courtesy Gentex

Gentex Corporation is integrating into its operations a laminating technology that yields durable, lightweight, ultra-thin glass for use in aerospace applications.

Zeeland-based Gentex Corporation (Nasdaq: GNTX) said Monday, Oct. 11, a new laminating technology and related patents were included in Gentex’s 2020 acquisition of Air-Craftglass, a Turnhout, Belgium-based startup that was founded to develop glass solutions for private and commercial aircraft, and Gentex is now bringing those proprietary technology techniques in-house to develop a broad set of solutions for use in aerospace and other applications.

Air-Craftglass developed the lightweight, chemically strengthened, thin-glass laminate, which offers improvements over polycarbonate structures, including superior noise reduction, durability, UV resistance, antibacterial performance, and flame and smoke resistance.

“This new laminating technology complements our expertise in glass processing while opening the door to new features within the aircraft cabin,” said Neil Boehm, Gentex’s chief technology officer. “Gentex is now in the process of bringing Air-Craftglass’ proprietary production techniques in-house to develop a comprehensive collection of glass, mirrors and wood veneer products for aerospace and potentially other industries.”

Gentex said it foresees numerous potential aircraft uses for the new technology, including glass dust panels, class dividers and monitor protectors, as well as mirrors for use in lavatories, cabins and galleys. Other applications include tabletops, cabinet doors, ceilings and decorative glass elements.

Gentex’s aerospace technologies will be on display in booth #3659 at this week’s 2021 National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition in Las Vegas. The show runs Oct. 12-14 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Founded in 1974, Gentex is a longtime supplier of electro-optical products for the global automotive, aerospace and fire protection industries. Within aerospace, the company is best known for supplying aircraft manufacturers with electronically dimmable windows that darken on demand to cut sunlight while still providing an exterior view.

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