Maintaining your vehicle is important to the safety of both you and your passengers. Vehicle maintenance begins with auto glass care. Your vehicle's glass panes are the first line of defense, whether you're driving your newborn child home from the hospital or dropping your kids off at school.
The glass in your vehicle is different than the glass used in your home. Because your vehicle experiences much more strain on a daily basis, from bumps in the road to rocks that get kicked up by your tires to even fender benders, the glass is designed with safety in mind.
The windshield is typically the largest glass pane in the vehicle, which is why it's manufactured in a way that's a little bit different than the other glass panes in the vehicle. Windshields are made using laminated glass.
Laminated glass is manufactured out of two pieces of glass that are divided by a thin layer of vinyl. These three pieces are then fused together through the lamination process, in which heat and pressure are applied in an autoclave, which is a special type of oven.
When small objects, such as rocks, hit the laminated glass windshield, only the outer layer of the glass will usually break (unless the object is very large and hits the windshield at a high speed). The vinyl helps protect the interior layer of glass from breaking.
If a severe impact does occur that causes both layers of glass to break, then the glass will remain in place even if it shatters. This is because it will usually stick to the vinyl lining, thereby protecting the driver and passengers from sharp pieces of broken glass.
The side and rear windows of a typical vehicle are made using tempered glass instead of laminated glass. The side and rear windows are less likely to be damaged than the windshield and are much smaller, which means less protection is necessary. However, tempered glass does still provide a protective element to the vehicle.
Tempered glass is made by heating the glass pane to more than 590 degrees Celsius before it is removed and immediately cooled. This process of heating and cooling (or tempering) helps to make the glass much stronger than un-tempered glass.
When tempered glass is broken, it will disintegrate into smaller pieces of glass, roughly the size of rock salt. Because they won't break into big, sharp pieces, there's less of a risk of injury.
If you auto glass care, whether it's glass pane repair or replacement, then be sure to contact us at Glass Doctor® of Saskatoon for information about our auto glass care services.