According to Rostra Precision Controls, when it introduced its Safety Blade heated windshield wiper system last fall, it included silicone-based wiper blades in the kits. The company says it knew that silicone blades could stand up to the temperature extremes between icy winter conditions and the heating element in the system without breaking down. Now, with summer right around the corner, consumers will find that these silicone blades also provide exemplary service during warmer months, according to the company. "Traditional windshield wiper blades are made from organic, natural rubber, which is composed mainly of carbon and hydrogen atoms," said Thomas Weiss, vice president, automotive accessories group, Rostra Precision Controls. "These carbon-based polymers react to the sun's energy and can rapidly deteriorate, causing the wipers to dry, crack and tear." According to the company, organic rubber simply cannot withstand temperature extremes. As a result, the blades rapidly deteriorate, severely limiting their ability to clear the windshield. The company also says that with all of the advances of the automotive industry in the 20th Century, wiper blades remained virtually unchanged since they were introduced in 1917. But after years of research in response to consumer demand for a better option, silicone has emerged as the industry leader for producing better windshield blades, Weiss said. "Silicone-based rubber renders a more effective wiper blade thanks to the use of silica (sand) in the compound," he explained. "Silica simply will not break down even after years of exposure to harsh conditions. The result is a blade that can last up to three times longer than a traditional organic rubber blade." The Safety Blade, which is automatically activated by the onset of freezing conditions, keeps windshields clean, clear and streak-free by warming the wiper blade, preventing snow and ice from accumulating, says Rostra. The system is available for all common domestic cars, trucks and SUVs. It can also be fitted to heavy-duty trucks, as well as RVs, construction and agricultural vehicles. It comes complete with all required hardware and easy to follow instructions, as well as the silicone blade, according to the company. The Safety Blade retails for $49.95 per blade assembly and can be purchased from a Rostra distributor or by calling Rostra's customer service center at 800-782-3379. Rostra Precision Controls, headquartered in Laurinburg, North Carolina, is a supplier of vehicle speed control systems, transmission components and vehicle comfort seating systems to the global automotive aftermarket industry. The company is also the manufacturer of the Rostra Obstacle Sensing System(tm) (ROSS) and the Comfort Heat(tm) seat heater. Rostra products are proudly made in the USA in an ISO9001/QS9000 certified facility. For more information or to find a dealer near you, visit Rostra's Web site at