Polymer transparencies were originally introduced in aircraft applications prior to World War II, and limited automotive use shortly thereafter. Though research and development has been ongoing, commercial automotive introduction has never been accomplished, largely due to optical distortions created by the forming process and lack of surface hardness. Consequently, contemporary aviation products continue to employ brittle materials such as stretched acrylic in order to achieve the required weight savings.
The work accomplished through the underlying Clearview System's patents has created a breakthrough technology that effectively overcomes these constraints. Clearview's process employs thermoformed polycarbonate sheets with in-mold trimming and a proprietary hard coating process.
The forming operation is essentially a non-contact process that enables exceptionally large parts and complex geometries to be fabricated and integrated sensors in the forming equipment assure dimensional precision and repeatability in the finished part. Once formed, the parts are trimmed to net size in-mold. Automated production cells further capitalize on these attributes to achieve a short cycle times with no direct labor. Accordingly, Clearview Systems delivers unmatched design freedom, process control and cost efficiency alongside the benefits inherent in polycarbonate transparencies.