The windshield of a car is your first line of defense against the outdoor elements. It shields you from the wind, rain, flying stones, dirt, and more. Unlike other glass, windshields are made specially to protect the passengers in the event of a direct impact.
When a windshield shatters, it won’t produce shards of glass. Because of a special film, the broken glass will stay together, preventing further injuries on the passengers.
The first windshields ever released are made of plain glass, making it easy to shatter and break. On the other hand, modern windshields are made of the so-called safety glass.
A windshield is composed of two layers of glass and a special plastic film sandwiched in between. It holds the shards of glass whenever the windshield shatters.
Although pieces of glass may fall off during the impact, it’s highly minimized with modern windshields.
Take note that a shattered windshield needs to be replaced right away. It’s not safe to drive with a damaged windshield since the headwinds will make the cracks bigger.
Features of windshields
Each windshield manufacturer takes pride in specific features of their products. Usually, it contains these two components:
It helps remove any dirt that will be in contact with the exterior of the windshield. Wipers are installed separately and shouldn’t scrape the glass.
With this feature, the wipers will automatically engage once the rain pours in. This saves you from the hassle of turning the wiper on your own.
How windshields are made
Modern windshields undergo similar manufacturing processes. It includes the following steps:
*Laminating the glass
Before placing two sheets of glass and a plastic layer, it has to be laminated first. This increases the strength of the windshield while reducing its susceptibility to scratches.
*Pressure and heat treatment
Once a layer of polyvinyl butyral is sandwiched between the laminated glass, pressure and heat will be applied to join the layers together. This will bond the glass and plastic layer as a single sheet.
*Cutting and bending
The unfinished windshield will then be cut and bent based on the car’s model. Further treatments are made to curve the windshield according to the frame of the vehicle to which it will be installed.
Once the windshield has the right measurements, it will be attached to the car using a special sealant. It will be molecularly bonded to the frame to ensure that it’s airtight and waterproof.
Replacement vs. repairs
Whenever your windshield gets damaged, it’s best to avail a replacement. Patching up the damage will not fix the issue. As you drive, the cracks will become larger and block your line of sight.
Some auto shops will offer recycled and used windshields. It’s up to you to decide if you’re going to invest in it. To make the most out of your expenses, it’s best to get a new one.
Windshields are made of special glass. It’s not easy to shatter, which is added safety on your end. Proper maintenance should keep this part of your vehicle in good condition.