As do your standard vehicle checks, it's a good idea to consider what you might need for auto glass care. We don't often think about the importance of our auto glass. But the windows in your car are designed especially to keep you and your family safe as you travel to ball games, vacations, school and work.
In 1970 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was formed to give guidelines to car manufacturers to keep drivers and passengers safer in accidents. As a result, you have two different types of glass in your vehicle windows. Each has a different function and each has different auto glass care considerations.
Your windshield uses special glass called laminated glass. This glass is to meet the higher standard of tensile strength and deal with the problem of people getting thrown through the windshield in an accident. Because the glass is so strong, it helps keep your vehicle roof from caving in during a rollover. It also makes sure the passenger side airbag in your car bounces properly to catch your passenger if it deploys.
To get this kind of strength, manufacturers use a high-heat, high-pressure process in an autoclave. They'll take two pieces of glass and insert a thin layer of clear vinyl in between. The high heat and pressure bonds the layers together chemically and mechanically, making a very strong piece of glass that is hard to break. This process provides a few advantages for your vehicle safety:
- The glass can shatter but the window stays intact because of the bonded vinyl.
- Most small chips and cracks can be repaired without impairing the integrity of the glass.
- The glass is more resistant to breakage and damage than regular glass.
Your side and rear windows are a different type of glass called tempered glass. This glass is designed to resist breaking, and to break safely if it does break. Manufacturers use temperatures over 590° Cs and a rapid forced air cooling process to create different kinds of stresses in the structure of the glass. This process makes the glass from five to 10 times stronger than it is normally.
The strength of tempered glass is that small debris is less likely to break the glass. When it breaks, it shatters into a bunch of small, dull pieces, keeping you and your passengers safe from flying shards of glass. This means the only auto glass care option for damaged tempered glass is replacement.
Give us a call at Glass Doctor® of London to find out how our specialists keep your vehicle safe and rolling with windshield repair and our patented Clear Choice glass treatment that protects your glass.