The windows in our cars are obviously not made out of the same glass that make up the windows of our home. This is because the kind of glass we need for our cars have to withstand a variety of road conditions while remaining both safe and flexible for both the drivers and passengers. This is why we use a specially made material called safety glass for our car windshields and windows.
As the name suggests, safety glass was designed with safety in mind. Unlike traditional glass, safety glass does not shatter into potentially harmful shards that can cause serious injury. It is also relatively more durable, designed specifically to withstand great amounts of blunt force.
But how does safety glass work? Safety glass actually comes in two specific varieties, laminated glass and tempered glass. Each type of safety glass has its own unique properties with very specific uses. Let’s find out how laminated and tempered glass all help to make our car safer on the road.
Laminated Glass is a type of safety glass that is primarily used in car windshields. Although laminated glass is designed with durability in mind, should the glass break, its unique properties keep the glass from breaking into dangerous bits that can cut and injure unprotected passengers. The secret behind laminated glass is that its not made out of one layer of glass but two. In between its two glass layers is a thin layer made out of polyvinyl butryal or PVB. This works as an adhesive that bonds with the two glass layers, making sure that the glass doesn’t fly out into shards.
This is why cars with windshield damage have very prominent cracks although the overall form is still intact. This also makes the laminated glass very difficult to break through, making it a the preferred glass type of glass for venues that demand tight security such as banks, prisons and even jewelry stores. Reinforced laminated glass is also possible, adding multiple layers of PVB and glass to increase its overall durability.
Like laminated glass, tempered glass is designed with safety in mind. But unlike laminated glass, it isn’t as durable. This is becaused tempered glass is primarily used for car windows instead of windshields. In case of emergency, car passengers need to have the ability to force themselves out through the window, and tempered glass is resilient enough provide ample protection inside the car without potentially trapping any stranded passengers.
Tempered glass is made through the process of tempering, which is the act of quickly and repeatedly heating and then cooling the glass. While tempering makes the glass more durable, it also makes it more brittle. This is allows the glass to break into manageable cubes and blunt pieces rather than into large, potentially dangerous shards.
In tandem, tempered glass and laminated glass work together to make our cars safer on the road.