While many of us might not realize it, the glass that is in our car windows serves a variety of purposes. For example, it serves as a shield against the wind. However, it can also protect us from the sun and other elements.
It might seem mundane to learn about – I understand that. If you are looking to know more, though, you might start on this page before continuing on in this article. Hopefully, it can provide you some context on why we should educate ourselves more in the first place.
Where is the Glass in our Cars?
Before we go any further, I’ll cover this first. Obviously, the windows are the primary spot. This includes the front windshield, the back one, and all the ones in our side doors. However, don’t forget that if you have a sunroof, that is comprised of auto glass as well.
For the most part, they are held in place by special channels. They’re designed to protect us from any debris on the road, but have other functions too – you can read more here: https://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-driving-safety/safety-regulatory-devices/auto-glass.htm. Many are operated by switches today, but I still remember the days of hand cranks.
What Makes it Special?
Well, as I mentioned above, one of the primary characteristics is that it is held in place by channels that prevent it from flying out with too much pressure. Additionally, it is a special grade approved for automobiles.
It is quite different than the windows you might find in a home, for example. Those end up shattering into big shards when they are broken, while the stuff designed for vehicles works a bit differently. What do I mean?
Well, what is used in cars is called safety glass, and there are two subcategories as well. Both can take more pressure than any of the types used in the home, since they need to for their purpose.
The first is laminated. This is what is used in your windshields. One note about it is that often, it requires a specialist to repair. So, if you’re in British Columbia and need Chilliwack auto glass repair, there are options available. Just do your research and investigate what is out there in your local area!
The other kind is tempered, which are used on the side windows and the back one as well. They were both invented to help shield anyone on the road from the debris that might come flying at us, since many people were having accidents. Now, when it comes to laminated, it actually involves two layers being pressed together to form a sort of film.
It’s all a bit complex, but fascinating to read about. The layer in the middle is polyvinyl butyral. All of it is sealed together using high heat rollers. Thus, they are bonded both chemically and mechanically, making for a safe product!
If this is all sounding like jargon, that’s okay. You may want to use a resource like this one for a bit more information on it as well, if you do like understanding the nitty gritty details here. Next comes that tempered glass I mentioned already.
It’s used for the side and backlites, and while it is somewhat similar to laminated, it serves a different purpose. The way it’s made is also simpler. It involves heating up glass then cooling it back down quickly by putting it through a system of blowing machines.
What this does is make a material that is able to be stretched and compressed without breaking, at least to some extent. That’s important for many people since they drive outdoors, and different temperatures can cause these movements. Without it, we would probably end up having a lot more broken windows.
When to Seek Repairs
This part is hard but let me offer you some tips. For small chips, usually you can use a simple repair kit. However, once it escalates to a full-on crack and you can see visible lines in the glass, it’s probably time to find a glass repair or replacement surface. Thankfully, this is not overly difficult.
Consider looking at the resources I provided above or do your own investigating!