Developments in Modular Windows for Automotive Applications 910759
Modular assemblies are now widely used in the automotive industry. This concept involves supply of modules or integrated subsystems to the automobile manufacturers. A growing portion of rear quarter windows, windshields and backlites are supplied as modules which can be directly attached to the body sheet metal of an automobile. The conventional window gasketing technique of gluing an extruded elastomer to glass can no longer meet design needs for improved aerodynamics and better styling. In the modular approach, all the components required for fit and function of the window are supplied to the OEM manufacturer as an integrated pre-assembly suitable for direct installation at the automotive production line. These components typically include the glass, the elastomeric encapsulant necessary for sealing, tracks for sliding windows, and associated trim such as bezels, division bars, stud mounts, etc. This paper briefly describes differences between the conventional and the modular approach, and outlines current trends and practices in modular technology. Materials and processes are reviewed and future developments discussed.