Eisfreie Scheibe / Ice-free windshield

The operating principle of the ice-free windshield.
© Fraunhofer IST, Falko Oldenburg
The operating principle of the ice-free windshield.

Challenge

Winter is full of inconveniences for drivers: it is cold, and driving on slippery roads is no pleasure. In addition, visibility is poor when the windows fog up, and there is the annoyance of scraping them free when they freeze over. For this reason, moisture should be prevented from condensing on the glass pane. This would save a lot of frustration and the car owner would not have to waste valuable time scraping the ice off.

Solution 

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Surface Engineering and Thin Films IST in Braunschweig have now solved the problem: They have developed a process with which they can not only produce transparent, conductive – and consequently heatable – films. Their surface films also provide a further decisive advantage: The outer film is of low emissivity. It therefore ensures that the glass pane cools down much more slowly. This prevents condensation from forming. The window remains dry and ice-free.