What Makes Windshield Glass Different From Regular Glass?

If your car is undergoing glass repair or replacement, you might not think that its glass is much different than your home’s windows. After all, they both look similar. However, there are numerous differences between regular glass and a car’s glass windshield. From what it’s made with to how it’s made, there’s far more that sets the glass of an automotive apart than just its enhanced durability. Here are four significant ways to distinguish between the glass windows of your home and the glass windshield for a car.

Windshield Glass is Created Differently

One reason why windshield glass differs from window glass is that it’s made from different materials. While silica sand comprises a large percentage of its composition, it’s also made from various materials, including cullet, dolomite, limestone, and soda ash. These components increase the durability of the glass, reduce its melting point, and make it easier to work with during production.

The front windshield for a car is made from two sheets of glass that fuse together with a vinyl layer in between them. Once the process is completed, the glass is then laminated. This extra layer of protection allows it to endure even more damage than standard glass, which is especially important for the safety of a vehicle’s occupants.

Glass Windshields Shatters Differently

The windshield for a car doesn’t shatter in the same way that regular glass does. Instead of breaking into large sharp pieces, glass windshields either shatter into thousands of tiny pieces or stay in one large piece. It may appear strange to design glass to break into more parts rather than less, but it was done so deliberately for a fundamental reason: to reduce severe injury during car crashes. Because the glass shards of a car window are considerably less jagged, those in automobile accidents aren’t as likely to be cut by a large piece of broken glass.

Further, reinforced, laminated windshields are less likely to break than the glass you’d use in your home windows. As a result, drivers and their passengers are far better protected from accidents than if regular glass was used. If a force is strong enough to break the windshield, more often than not, the resulting damage resembles a spider web shape.

Side and Rear Windows are a Different Type of Glass

Even though a car’s front windows are made from the same process, the side and rear windows are created differently. Instead of laminated glass, they’re made from tempered glass. This specific variant is heat-treated to make it more durable than regular glass but still breakable. Designing car windows so they can break might sound strange, but is essential to the safety of the occupants in case of being trapped following a significant accident. Unlike the laminated glass in the front of the car, tempered glass can be broken into shards that are duller than regular glass. This provides occupants an avenue of escape in emergency situations.

Windshield Glass is Replaced Differently

If the windshield for a car does get damaged, it will need to be replaced. However, there are two different options car owners can take when fixing the broken glass of their car. The first is by getting OEM, or Original Equipment Manufacturer, glass. This means it was created by the same manufacturer as the original glass, making it identical to what was there previously. The second option is by getting aftermarket auto glass, which was made by the OEM on a different production line or by another company altogether. 

If you’re searching for glass replacement in your area, you can rely on the team at Auto Glass Fitters for all of your windshield replacement needs!