When we think of the safety features of our cars, it’s always about the airbags, ABS or ANCAP safety ratings. However, there’s often an unsung hero when it comes to protecting you and your passenger’s safety – your windshield!
In fact, windshields hold much more responsibilities than they’re given credit for. They protect us from harsh weather and flying debris. They help significantly with noise reduction, heat control, and protection from UV rays. It even helps your airbag while protecting your car’s structural integrity!
If you think they’re just a simple piece of glass – think again. Here are some facts about your car windshield that you might not know!
Car windshields are made from different glass compared to your home windows
This might be one of the biggest differences in terms of how your car windshield functions compared to your everyday windows.
Unless your home is specially fitted with anti-shattering windows, your home window glass will shatter if it breaks. This would likely be harmful – however, glass windows at home are usually fitted and designed to be out of harm’s way.
On the other hand, in the highly unlikely event that a car windshield cracks significantly, it will not shatter into multiple sharp pieces as per your home window. In fact, it would likely still remain held together in one piece!
That’s because car windshields and windows are either made from laminated or tempered for your safety. For example, the rear and front windows are highly likely made from tempered glass, while the car windshield on the front and back would be made from laminated glass.
What is laminated glass for car windshields?
Laminated glass originated from the 1920s – back then, two glass sheets were pressed tightly together with a thin layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sheet in between them.
As they’re fused together with high heat, a laminated car windshield is created. While today’s car windshield has advanced significantly in the material and technology used to produce car windshields, the principle is still the same till this day.
This way, as the laminated glass layer on the outside breaks, there is still a layer on the other side that holds the car windshield together. For this reason, laminated glass is highly trusted to endure high-impact conditions without shattering.
Because of their vital role in ensuring that the driver and passengers within the car are protected from flying glass, laminated glass has now become the industry standard when it comes to car windshields.
Which part of your car is made from tempered glass?
While the front and rear car windshields are made from laminated glass, most car models utilise tempered glass for all four windows (front and back).
The reason is simple – accidents involving collisions or damage from flying debris is highly unlikely for the front and rear windows.
Tempered glass for your car windows are made as a one-play product and treated with rapid heating and cooling techniques. In the case of tempered glass shattering, it will break into non-sharp pieces to protect the safety of persons around them.
A quick summary on the purpose of a car windshield
Car windshields have been researched and manufactured over the past 9 decades to consistently improve the safety, protection and accessibility of the individuals within the car.
Apart from shielding it from the weather and debris, it also upholds the car’s structural integrity in the event of a crash as well as ensuring its driver and passengers are safe from any sharp pieces of glass as a result of a crash.
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