The windshield is a very important part of your car. It enables you to clearly see the road and possible problems, keeps weather and flying insects away from you and your passengers, and even offers protection during a crash. What started as a simple pane of regular glass placed in front of the driver and front seat passenger has since evolved into a technical wonder. There are some differences in windshields for commercial vehicles, but let’s look at how windshields are built for cars.
What Goes Into Windshields?
Similar to regular glass, windshields are made of such components as fine silica sand, soda ash, dolomite, limestone and cullet. In some cases, small amounts of aluminum oxide and potassium oxide are added. It might be funny to think that some elements sound more like rocks but, when blended with water, and heated to a very high temperature, the mixture fuses into the glass used for windshields. It is then cooled, shaped and further processed to form the final windshield shape.
How is Windshield Glass Different?
Windshield glass is different from window glass because it serves so many other purposes. It must be clear enough to see through, help support the roof of your car, resist breakage in minor collisions, and prevent glass from flying everywhere during a major crash.
This is all achieved by using laminated glass. You might be surprised to learn that your car’s windshield is actually made of three layers, and not just one. The two outside layers are composed of clear, tempered glass and the inner layer is made of poly-vinyl butyral. Tempered glass has been put through special processes to increase its strength.
The lamination process allows the windshield to bend slightly upon impact, which is much safer for you and your vehicle’s occupants. A small rock may only cause a dent without breaking the entire pane of glass. In a larger collision, the windshield may shatter, but usually without breaking apart completely. Any pieces which do come loose should be small beads of glass, and not large shards which could cause injury.
What are the Laws Regarding Windshields?
Because laminated glass is considered to be so safe, it is now required by law to be used in car windshields. Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards require that windshields must be able to withstand a certain amount of force or damage during an accident. There are also regulations which cover when a damaged windshield can be repaired and when it must be replaced.
What Types of Damage Occur to Windshields?
A windshield might have a crack, a chip, or a dent. If the damage is extensive, the entire windshield might need to be replaced. But, if the damage is minor, it is better to have the windshield repaired quickly before it fills up with dirt or spreads. Different states have various laws regarding cracked windshields. Although Texas traffic laws actually do allow you to continue driving with a damaged windshield under certain circumstances, you should always be away of vision and safety concerns.
If you have a damaged windshield, Windshield Remedy provides free mobile service throughout the greater Houston, TX area and offers a lifetime guarantee. Visit our website or call 281-541-4102 for windshield repair service that makes damaged glass a thing of the past.