Does it seem like windshields get damaged more often these days compared to the past? It might seem odd because there have been a number of technological advances to car safety over the years, including windshields with things like Ultra Bond and Edgeguard. Furthermore, windshields are not any thinner now than they used to be, yet windshield replacements and repairs are one of the most common vehicle repairs needed now. So how is it possible that they get cracked and chipped more easily?
How Windshields Today Are Manufactured
It all comes down to how windshields are manufactured today, because windshield safety hasadvanced and changed over time. Originally, windshields were made from the same basic glass as other windows. But due to the danger of glass shards in the event that the windshield breaks in an accident, windshields are now made with a special lamination manufacturing process to prevent this.
Now, windshields are made with three layers — the outside layers are composed of two pieces of glass, with the third middle layer being a thin strip of vinyl. These three layers are fused together by being pressed together at high temperatures. This way, if the windshield ever breaks, the pieces of glass stick together thanks to the vinyl it was fused to, instead of flying apart as separate pieces.
Modern Windshields Are Safer but Have More Defects
The problem with windshields being damaged more easily now than in the past comes when the heat and pressure are used during the lamination process. The glass outer layers go through a lot of stress, which causes them to form microscopic defects, especially around the edges of the windshield. Whenever a rock, piece of debris, or sudden and violent jolt affects the area where these stress defects are, the windshield is more likely to more easily sustain a larger chip or crack.
In the grand scheme of things, these little manufacturing defects that cause windshields to be more easily damaged are seen as a necessary evil. Windshields are much safer for passengers in the vehicle now thanks to the advancements made in the lamination process, but unfortunately that same process makes them more easily to get chipped or cracked. In time, further advancements in manufacturing will solve or at least limit the frequency of defects, but for now it is a case of taking the bad with the good.
About the author
Diana Steele is the owner of Van Isle Glass, a Victoria glass shop celebrating 20 years in the glass business this year! With her combined background in teaching, sales & marketing she fully understands the significance of exceptional customer service & quality workmanship. While Diana is focused on her business, she is also a proud community-minded, supporter. She attributes her success to her passion for being part of local business, her love of working with people and to her exceptionally talented and hardworking team!