When it comes to automotive glass, it's important to understand the difference between tempered and laminated glass.
Tempered glassis a type of safety glass that is four to five times stronger than regular glass. It is most commonly used in the side and rear windows of cars, while laminated glass is used for the front and rear windshields. The tempering process involves heating the glass to more than 1,100° F and then cooling it quickly.
This makes the outer surface and core of the glass much stronger. Laminated glass, on the other hand, is made by sandwiching a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between two pieces of glass. This type of glass was patented for vehicles in 1909 after two women were injured by flying glass debris following a car accident. The PVB layer allows the glass to absorb energy during an impact and gives it resistance to penetration from flying projectiles.
If laminated glass breaks, the pieces of glass stick to the plastic layer, rather than falling to the ground or, worse, the driver's face or body. Glass manufacturers continue to explore new ideas to make automotive glass stronger, safer and more adaptable to new vehicles. This includes larger windshields, sunroofs and even glass panels that replace the roof completely. Tempered and laminated glass both meet original safety and quality specifications such as factory glass.
In addition, if tempered or laminated glass breaks, it is designed to break into small pieces that are less likely to cause additional injury or damage.It's important for drivers to understand the differences between tempered and laminated automotive glass so they can make informed decisions when purchasing a vehicle. Knowing which type of glass is used in each window can help drivers make sure they are getting the safest vehicle possible.