The glass used in automobiles has come a long way since cars first hit the road. Today, windshield and passenger window glass is designed to present a minimal risk of injury if broken in a crash. Here's a look at what keeps windshields and other car windows safe upon impact.
The Dangers of Plate Glass
In non-automotive applications, plate glass generally has a low risk of experiencing high-speed impacts, making it safe for domestic and commercial uses. Windshields and passenger windows, however, can be severely damaged or broken in seconds, either by projectiles or in an accident. The high-risk nature of driving led to plate glass being replaced by safer alternatives in vehicles in the mid-20th century.
Today, windshields are made from three-layer, shatterproof safety glass, which is made by binding two layers of strong tempered glass together with an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral, a plastic-based resin. Instead of breaking into thousands of loose pieces upon impact, windshield safety glass will crack but remain in one large sheet, significantly improving the safety of drivers and passengers.
Safer Passenger Windows
Passenger windows are sometimes made with the same safety glass as windshields, but they may also be made with simple tempered glass. Tempered glass is heated and cooled in a specific way during manufacturing to enhance its strength and make it safer when shattered. Instead of breaking into sharp shards, tempered glass shatters into smaller, less dangerous pieces.
Windshields may not shatter upon impact, but a damaged one can impair your vision and prevent you from driving safely. In addition to our residential and commercial services, Macc's Glass Inc. offers full windshield replacements to get Macclenny-area drivers back on the road quickly and safely. To learn more about our windshield services, contact us today by calling 904-259-6070.