How Does Car Windshield Glass Differ from Other Glass?
Your car windshield may look like a simple sheet of glass, but the materials used to create a windshield are much different than the other windows in your vehicle.
Laminated Glass vs. Tempered Glass
Not all safety glass is the same. Tempered glass is primarily used in car windows. It goes through an extreme process of heating and cooling to make the glass up to five times stronger than ordinary glass. Like most safety glass, it will break into small pieces about the size of rock salt when overstressed to keep passengers safe from flying shards.
Laminated glass is used for car windshields. It's made of a thin sheet of clear poly-vinyl butyra (PVB) tempered glass. However, in severe impact situations the windshield may shatter but will usually remain in one piece because the broken safety glass will stay stuck to the vinyl inner lining.
Laminated glass also strengthens the structural support of the car frame and keeps the roof from buckling in case of a rollover. It also enables the passenger airbag to deploy properly and prevents passengers from being ejected from the car.
The Future of Windshields
New technological developments in the auto glass industry are giving car designers the ability to increase the size of windshields for better visibility and safety, as well as panoramic sunroofs. What's next? All glass roofs.