The automotive industry has gone through a lot of change over the years. One of the most improved and innovative components are windshields. This part of your car has gone through various revamps with the emergence of new technologies. What started off as brittle glass, windshields are now tougher and more durable than ever in the event of a collision.
Auto glass had gone through a tumultuous process before it became the refine technology it is now. To give you a blast from the past, here’s a quick rundown of the history of auto glass:
*1903 – In this year, a chemist named Edouard Benedictus invented laminated glass by accident. His assistant forgot to remove the cellulose nitration solution residue from a flask. But when Benedictus suddenly dropped the said flask, the shards adhered to the laminated layer.
*1920 – Car manufacturers start using laminated glass on vehicles. But this version of auto glass wasn’t as durable as it is today.
*1930 – Tempered glass was introduced to the auto industry. By this time, laminated glass is already standard. And in 1937, federal laws require car manufacturers to place safety glasses on every car model.
*1950 – Through the continuous invention and perfection of the auto glass, manufacturers have made a clearer version of windshields. They removed the bubbles that take place during the heating process. Also, in 1959, a break-through technology called float glass is introduced in the market, which increases the durability of the glass.
*1960s – The Pilkington Process was introduced. This revolutionary technology involves floating the glass, heating, and molding the mixtures. This is done in a controlled chamber to ensure the quality of the auto glass.
*1970s – This decade is a pivotal time for auto safety. This is the decade on which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was created to regulate the safety of vehicles. The NHTSA is also the body that regulates the quality of windshields among vehicles.
After the ’70s, the auto glass industry continued to progress. From basic laminated glass, modern windshields are now equipped with three layers of materials. These are two layers of tempered glass sandwiching a sheet of polyvinyl butyral. Such materials are infused together with heat. This results in a tougher and safer version that can withstand force.
Windshields are safety components
Windshields are crucial safety components of your vehicle. As much as the modern versions are already tough, you should still have it checked regularly. Also, you must have your windshield repaired right away when cracks occur. Although cracks are small, these can branch into fissures that will block your line of vision.
As windshield technologies are continuously changing, you should only trust licensed technicians to replace, repair, or maintain your car’s windshield.
The auto glass industry has gone through a lot of changes over the decades. With such improvements, it just proves that a lot is still in store for us in the future. This also means that more safety standards are yet to be employed to boost both drivers’ and passengers’ security while on the road.