Windscreens are an integral feature of your car that improves aerodynamics, vision and safety. The rigours of your daily drive would likely be enough to damage ordinary glass, but not windscreens. Windscreens are designed for a very specific purpose and a great deal of technology has gone into making them. The key characteristics of a windscreen include strength, durability and aerodynamic shape. All of these are possible thanks to a product known as automotive glass. Without automotive glass, you wouldn’t be able to enjoy the excellent road safety that you do today.
Good installation allows you to make the most of windscreen strength
Of course, as with all quality products, there would be no use using automotive glass if it is not installed properly. Windscreen installation is a specific process that is designed to work with the strengths of automotive glass. The installation itself is generally best left to an expert. Windscreen replacement professionals have the tools and, more importantly, the expertise necessary to install your windscreen correctly. This is paramount for both your safety and the safety of other road users. The process itself would be extremely challenging without the correct equipment. And don’t be fooled by how easy the specialists make it look; a lot of training and experience goes into replacing a windscreen with their skill and efficiency.
Windscreens are made differently to ordinary glass
The process used to create the standard glass that you find in a window is quite straightforward. With automotive glass, this process is far different. From the constituent ingredients of the glass itself to the process by which it is cast, making automotive glass is a complex undertaking. Fortunately, modern technology allows glass manufacturers to create automotive glass efficiently and to the highest standard of quality. The benefits of this technology extend to everyone on the road today.
#1 The formula of the glass is unique
Automotive glass is different on an almost molecular level. The very ingredients that constitute the glass itself are specifically selected. Each ingredient offers a range of benefits that are inherent in its composition. The primary ingredient is silica, which takes the form of very fine sand. Other ingredients include limestone, dolomite, and soda ash. Limestone increases the glass’s hardiness; dolomite allows the glass to be shaped easier; and soda ash allows the glass to withstand higher temperatures, thereby increasing the mixture’s melting point. These ingredients are mixed with water and heated to melting point, following which they become glass.
#2 The subsequent glass product is moulded and tempered
The glass is still far from ready. To get the distinctive and aerodynamic shape of the windscreen, the glass must be prepared using what’s known as a ‘float chamber.’ After this, the glass is cut and kept on a cast. The cast heats the glass to soften it. As it softens, the glass gradually takes the shape of a windscreen. Then, once it is in the correct shape, the glass is cooled. To do this, a machine blasts cold air over the glass. The sudden cooling of the hot glass is enough to temper it. This improves its hardness and therefore its strength.
#3 Finally, the glass is laminated
Finally, the glass is laminated. This process is essential for all automotive glass. Laminating the glass prevents it from shattering if there is an accident. Instead of creating deadly shards like normal glass does, automotive glass spiderwebs held together by the laminate. To laminate the glass, two sheets are placed above and below a strip of specialised material. A machine then applies heat and the three products fuse into one. This creates your windscreen, so you can rest assured that your windscreen is of a high standard of quality.