Glass has been important in cars for decades. They have been used in some of the earliest models of vehicles due to their transparent nature!
However, compared to the old days, automobile glass technology has evolved over the years for both comfort and safety reasons.
Using standard glass in windshields, for example, would be incredibly dangerous because broken shards of razor-sharp glass could cause serious injuries in accidents!
Why are most car windshields made from laminated glass?
Laminated glass is one of the most common types of glass used in vehicles.
It consists of a pane of glass made from two separate sheets that are stuck together with PVB (polyvinyl butyral) and then fused together under high temperatures.
The result is an incredibly strong type of glass that can withstand impacts much more effectively than standard glass.
What’s more, when a car is involved in a crash, laminated glass does not shatter.
While it can break in a crash, the PVB layer keeps it intact so that no sharp shards of glass fly about and cause serious injuries.
Laminated glass can also help to reduce injuries in a crash by acting as a barrier. If a passenger is thrown into the glass, it has a cushioning effect that can help to reduce the severity of the injuries sustained.
While side windows and rear windows do not have to be made from laminated glass, more cars are now using this type of glass in these windows too!
What about tempered glass?
Tempered glass is the other major type of auto glass in use today. This is also known as toughened glass. That’s because, when compared to standard glass, it is up to four times stronger.
Tempered glass consists of single-ply glass that has been heated to over 600°C. It then goes through a fast cooling procedure called quenching, resulting in a much stronger glass.
As well as being strong, tempered glass has another important benefit.
While it will shatter in a powerful impact, it breaks into many small pieces with blunt edges, rather than dangerous sharp shards of glass, reducing the chance of serious injuries caused by sharp glass flying around.
It’s important to note that while it is often used in the rear and side windows as well as sunroofs, tempered glass is rarely used for windshields, and car manufacturers often opt for laminated glass instead!
What car windshield glass options do I have when I need a replacement?
When the windshield glass on your car breaks or if you decide to change a new windshield, there are two types of replacement glass generally available: OEM and aftermarket car windshields.
OEM car windshields
The word OEM stands for Original Equipment Manufacturer.
This means that the glass is usually fabricated by the same manufacturer that provided the original glass in your vehicle.
Essentially, the windshield is identical to what your car had before. It usually bears the distinctive automaker branding on it for customers.
This means it is tested precisely for your car’s performance and safety. They are also certified to indicate they are genuine.
Aftermarket car windshields
This type of windshield is created by an external company (other than the original manufacturer) to fit specific vehicles.
Often, aftermarket windshields are cheaper due to being lower-quality than OEMs, or higher-priced due to them being enhanced with certain features.
The downside of aftermarket car windshields that you will not be assured or protected if anything happens to you or your car!
If you insist on aftermarket windshield glass, make sure you understand the risk you are undertaking.
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