Evolution of the Windshield

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Auto Glass Repair is now much easier because of current technology. Many chips are simply fixed with an adhesive resin rather than replacing the windshield entirely. With the help of Ultraviolet lights much of the strength and integrity are restore to the windshield.

How did it all begin

The evolution of the windshield has brought about many improvements. The original was plate glass, which was used to make driving more comfortable. The first cars produced did not have windshields. If you remember seeing some older movies, many drivers and passengers wore goggles. Even traveling at slower speeds was difficult with wind blowing in your face, bugs, and other debris. So the first windshields were made of the same glass as in household windows.

As more and more people purchased cars, the traffic increased on the roads as did accidents. It was soon found that plate glass was a real danger to drivers and passengers. Upon impact, the windshield shattered, hit people and cut them. When there were no seat belts, deaths from going through an auto windshield happened frequently enough and the term for those who died, “wearing a glass necklace”.

An Accidental Discovery

Little known fact: A better windshield was an accidental discovery that lead to the windshield used today. A glass beaker in the lab was put up without being cleaned. Later, it was knocked off the shelf and it broke. However, the material left in the beaker kept the glass from flying everywhere. The glass broke but stayed stuck to the cellulose material, giving the scientist the idea of creating safer glass material.

The first new glass product was patented in 1905 but took many improvements before it became part of windshields. Henry Ford began using safety glass in his cars in 1928, paving the way for safety glass to be used by other manufacturers.

Modern Safety Glass

The modern safety glass used in cars and trucks is constructed of three layers – two layers of glass and a middle layer of a plastic product that seals the two layers of glass together. The glass layers are heated and cooled using a special technique to make them stronger, and the plastic layer provides additional support while keeping most of the glass in place upon impact.

When an object strikes your windshield with enough force, it will cause the glass to crack. But instead of shattering into large, sharp, potentially deadly pieces, the glass is designed to stay in place because of the inner plastic layer. Some glass will still come free if the impact is sufficient enough, but the majority of the glass should stay put.

Safety glass, also known and laminated glass, is the standard for the windshield at the front of the vehicle. In most vehicles, the other windows are made of tempered glass. Tempered glass is also heated and cooled in a specific way to increase its strength. But unlike laminated glass, tempered glass has no plastic layer inside.

Tempering makes glass stronger. It also makes it shatter in a specific way – into many, many small pieces. So the tempered glass in the other windows of your car is not only strong, it is also relatively safe should it shatter.

Your windshield is your armor. It protects you from wind, debris, and sunlight, and is very helpful in the event of an accident. It holds up the roof and gives the airbags a backboard to deploy against.

 

 

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