When we talk about safety features in vehicles we usually think about air bags, seat belts and antilock brakes. Very rarely do we mention the windshields and side windows.
It’s especially baffling when you consider the fact that these are perhaps the most important components of the vehicle.
Just think of it this way, how hard would it be for you to drive a vehicle with a cracked windshield or damaged side mirrors. Make no mistake, auto glass is an important component of your vehicle and you need to make sure that it’s in good shape.
Let’s take a look at how it’s manufactured and what makes it so important:
Manufacturing Process of Auto Glass
Auto glass is manufactured in a float glass manufacturing plant where the main ingredients like limestone and silica sand are combined on a bed of molten tin in order to create ribbons of glass.
In simple terms, these ribbons are referred to as float glass and it’s later used to manufacture laminated glass.
The Benefits of Laminated Glass
Laminated windshields are made of two separate layers of glass which are held together with a plastic interlayer. The multiple layers make laminated glass stronger than normal glass.
Laminated glass doesn’t break easily and when it does, it only breaks in smaller pieces instead of large shards. This protects drivers from shards in case of accidents.
The windshield is also an important part of the vehicle’s overall structure. In fact, it accounts for 45% of the vehicle’s integrity. It also protects the roof in case the car rolls over after an accident.
This is why it’s so important to make sure that the windshield is always in good condition. Cracks and chips can damage the windshield because of which you are also susceptible to injuries in case of accidents.
The strength of the laminated glass also allows passenger airbags to be deployed correctly. When an accident occurs, the airbag is deployed at a high speed and incredible force. It bounces off the windshield which is responsible for absorbing the force without breaking.
If the windshield itself is damaged, then the airbag wouldn’t be properly deployed and that would increase chances of you getting injured.
The biggest difference between the windshield, side mirrors and rear windscreen is that the former is made of laminated glass while the latter two are made of tempered glass.
Tempered glass is made up of glass that is heated and then rapidly cooled. This makes tempered glass stronger than ordinary glass. It’s almost as strong as laminated glass but it brakes differently.
When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into tiny pebble like pieces instead of large shards. This type of glass can easily be broken with a strong sharp object. This allows you to get out of the vehicle in case you are trapped after an accident.
Additional Benefits of Auto Glass
When you are driving, you need to make sure that your attention is only on the road ahead. Of course, that’s not always possible if the windshield is not in proper condition. This is why it’s so important to ensure that the windshield is in good shape.
In addition to that, side mirrors allow you to keep an eye on the vehicles right behind you. This is especially beneficial when you are stuck in traffic.
The rear windshield too is an important component of the vehicle. It’s where the defroster is installed. The defroster keeps the window safe from snow during winters.
What Does the Future Have In Store for Auto Glass
Car manufacturers understand the importance of auto glass and with the advances in technology, have started looking for new ways in which they can make windshields stronger.
One of the emerging trends that have been observed in the auto glass industry is an increase in the need for stronger glass. Many manufacturers have started developing a stronger glass which is known as soda lime glass. In the future, it’s expected that it will replace laminated glass.
Soda lime glass is lighter in weight than normal glass. However, it will also be comparatively more expensive.
Gorilla Glass Windshields
Gorilla glass was one of the standout features of the2017 Ford GT. It incorporated the same tough glass used in modern smartphones. What’s interesting is that Gorilla glass is lighter than and stronger than laminated glass.
Its strength ensured that the passengers always stayed safe whereas its lightweight made it perfect for use in the sports cars.
Gorilla glass also had certain optical advantages. In many ways it’s similar to glass used in cockpits and has touch screen displays for controls and dashboard.
Another trend that has been observed is that manufacturers have started opting for larger windshields. The increase in surface area is beneficial since it means increased protection from ultraviolet rays and comfort for passengers.
It’s also expected that in the near future, auto glass will also have additional features which include cameras and electronic sensors. There are also some manufacturers who are designing vehicles which wouldn’t have side mirrors at all.
Instead, you’ll rely on cameras in order to keep an eye on the vehicles behind you. The camera will also detect the potential hazards and alert drivers in advance.
BMW had just recently displayed a model which had these features however, only time will tell if it will actually be a reality in the near future or not. There have also been debates regarding whether this technology will be accepted by customers or not.
So you can be rest assured that laminated and tempered glass isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If you are looking for reliable windshield replacement services in British Columbia, get in touch with us.
We offer affordable windshield replacement services in the region. We also offer commercial and residential glass services and one of the services we offer includes Advanced Driver Assistance System Recalibration.
You can find out all of these details on our website. Contact us now to book an appointment.