Types of Auto Glass and Repairs
Glass windows used in cars are quite different from those used in other places such as house windows. Home windows have glass that breaks and shatters into sharp shards that are very dangerous. However, the glass used in car windows is referred to as safety glass. It does not break into shards; in fact, it is quite harmless when it breaks.
The windshield is often made of laminated glass while the door and rear view windows are made of tempered glass. Car windows are important safety features as they protect the vehicle occupants from any flying debris and objects that can cause harm while moving at high speeds. The car windows also provide extra support to the roof of the car and prevent it from caving in case of an accident.
Tempered glass and laminated auto glass are different when it comes to repair and maintenance.
Laminate Auto Glass
First production of laminated glass began back in the mid 1920s by sticking together two sheets of glass using a sheet of polyvinyl butyral between them. This glass sandwich was fused together using high heat and this is how laminated glass came to be. It does not break into shards during a collision. Laminated glass is designed to take heavy impact without shattering reducing the risk of injuring the vehicle occupants with flying glass. The laminated glass will also act as a cushion in case the vehicle occupant is thrown against the windshield.
Laminated glass is very popular in the auto motive industry among other places such as shop windows, school doors or any other place where there is high chance of impact by a person.
Since laminated glass is made of two layers of glass, it is possible to do repairs in case of damage on only one layer of glass. Cracks and chips are quite common after impact of small items like pebbles, construction debris and small birds. A window repair technician can repair damaged laminated windshields that do not penetrate to the plastic layer or both layers of glass. They do this by filling up the crack with a resin like material that is almost as clear as glass and smoothing it out to create an even finish on the windshield.
The size, depth and type of damage will determine whether repair is possible or an entire replacement is necessary.
Majority of the rest of the windows in vehicles are made from tempered glass. Tempered glass is a single ply glass that is treated by heating and rapid cooling to make it stronger. In case of damage, tempered glass will break into thousands of pebble like pieces that do not have sharp edges, which reduces the risk of injury. The heating and rapid cooling of tempered glass makes it stronger than regular glass. Unfortunately, unlike laminated glass, tempered glass cannot be repaired in case of damage. Due to its design, tempered glass should be replaced entirely in case it cracks or breaks.