Guide to Auto Glass
Beyond the glass, you may think that one piece is just like another, but the fact is that every pane has unique compositions, features, technologies, and benefits. For example, some panes are made of polycarbonate, while others are made of acrylic. Some are tinted, while others are clear. And some offer UV protection, while others do not.
The good news is that no single solution works best for everyone. Customers must consider their specific needs and preferences when choosing auto glass replacements.
The Different Types of Auto Glass
Auto glass is an essential part of your vehicle. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to see out of the driver’s side window or even open the door. But what type of auto glass do you use? There are three main types of auto glass: laminate, tempered, and safety glass.
Laminate glass is the most common. This type of glass comprises layers of plastic interspersed with thin sheets of glass. Most often, laminate glass is used for rear windows. Tinting helps reduce glare and keep heat inside during hot weather. You might notice that some vehicles have tinted windows rather than clear ones.
Tempered glass is more robust than laminate glass. It uses a chemical process called tempering to strengthen the glass. Tempering allows the glass to withstand greater force without breaking. In addition to being strong, tempered glass is also shatterproof.
Safety glass is designed specifically to break into small pieces, preventing injury. Safety glass is used in several areas of the vehicle, including the windshield, side windows, and sometimes the doors.
Auto Glass In Your Car
The windows of a car serve many functions. They allow us to see out and protect us from the elements. But even though we might think that the glass is one solid piece, multiple pieces of glass work together to provide protection and comfort. And while some of the glass is pretty obvious, like the window glass on the front of a car, there are plenty of times when you wouldn’t know what exactly made up the rest of the glass.
Tempered Auto Glass
Although a car’s doors and rear windows can be made from laminated glass, it does not have the same potential for human impact in the event a crash occurs. Therefore, the majority of those windows are made from tempered safety glass. This type of glass is single-ply, but it is treated through heating and rapid cooling, creating millions of tiny air bubbles throughout the glass. These bubbles help prevent shattering into dangerous shards.
If the glass breaks during a collision, it doesn’t break into dangerous shards but thousands of harmless pebbly bits that don’t have sharp edges. Just as laminated glass can be found in many home appliances, so can tempered glass.
Laminated Auto Glass
The sandwich method of making laminated glass dates back to the early 20th century when the automotive industry began taking two pieces of glass and fusing them with a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) layer. However, the process wasn’t perfected until the 1970s, when engineers figured out how to use a hot press to fuse the layers.
Today, laminated glass is used in everything from windshields to windows, doors, skylights, and shower walls. The glass is designed to break but not shatter. If you’re ever involved in a crash, the glass will absorb most energy rather than send sharp fragments flying around.
Front Windshield Auto Glass
The most critical glass on any automobile is the windshield glass. Its primary function is to keep the driver and passengers safe during travel. Other parts of the windshield include the side windows and rear window. A windshield protects drivers and passengers from wind, rain, snow, and debris. It shields people from the harmful effects of ultraviolet light.
A windshield consists of three layers. The outermost layer is called the laminate. This is composed of several different types of glass bonded together. Next is the intermediate layer, which is usually tinted. Finally, there is the innermost layer, which is tempered safety glass. All three layers are designed to withstand high-impact forces without shattering.
Windshields come in many shapes and sizes. They range from small ones covering just the front of the windshield to large ones covering the entire area. Most cars have a single piece of glass that covers the whole windshield. However, some vehicles use multiple pieces of glass to make up the windshield. These are known as multi-pane windshields.
The windshield is attached to the car’s body via metal clips. The windshield frame is typically made out of aluminum or steel. The clips are attached to the frame and hold the windshield in place. There are also plastic windshield frames. Plastic windshields are lighter weight and cost less money to manufacture. They do, however, require special care when installation.
When a vehicle is involved in an accident, it is common for the windshield to crack. About half of all accidents involve cracked windshields. Cracked windshields pose a threat to both the occupants of the vehicle and others nearby. If a person gets injured due to a broken windshield, they may sue the car manufacturer.
Back Windshield Auto Glass
The rear windshield in most vehicles is made from tempered glass. It is one of the most substantial types of glass you can find. It is almost stronger than bulletproof glass because it is designed to withstand impacts without breaking. However, some manufacturers use another type of glass called laminated safety glass. This type of glass is bonded to the car frame and cannot move. If a crash occurs, the glass is supposed to break away from the frame, allowing the driver to escape injury.
In addition to being strong, the rear windshield is also very durable. Because it is made from a different material than regular windows, it does not chip easily. Sometimes, people try to clean the windshield, but the scratches add character to the glass. You can also wash the glass with soap and water. A little elbow grease goes a long way.
Solar Auto Glass
In recent years, there has been a growing demand for energy-efficient vehicles. This includes electric cars, hybrid cars, plug-in hybrids, and fuel cell vehicles. One way to achieve this is to use solar glass. This type of glass reduces the heat entering a vehicle, thus increasing passenger comfort levels. It is often used in windows because it contains a high iron concentration that absorbs the heat and keeps it out of the car. There are many types of solar glass, including laminated glass, polycarbonate, tempered glass, safety glass, and even double-glazed glass.
Heated Auto Glass
Heated glass is coated with a material that allows electricity to pass through it. This creates heat which warms the glass. Once warmed, it helps to clear snow off the windshield, defrosts the windscreen, and melts ice.
The technology works best when there are no obstructions like trees or buildings in the way. It can also help to keep drivers safe by preventing road accidents due to poor visibility caused by fogged-up windows.
XIR Auto Glass
The world’s leading supplier of automotive glass, XIR, announced that it had developed a new type of glass called XIR glass. This technology is being adopted in vehicles across the globe because it offers improved thermal insulation, sound reduction, and durability. XIR glass is now being produced in large quantities and is expected to become one of the most popular types of vehicle glass within the next few years.
Glass technologies in your car
Auto glass doesn’t just protect you from flying debris. Modern auto glass is packed with a variety of state-of-the-art features. These advancements account for everything from the identification number on your car to the design of the windshield itself. Auto glass is now much more than just glass. It’s a piece of engineering that keeps drivers safer every day.
If you need auto glass repair or replacement in Thornton, Colorado, give Complete Auto Glass a call. Our professional glass technicians are here to help you understand which type of glass is best for your vehicle and are happy to walk you through the process. Call us at 303-993-2935 today!