Not all windshields are created equal. In order to know if you are receiving the best quality glass, it is important to understand what windshields are made of. Glass America provides only the highest quality glass because we value the safety of our customers.
What are windshields made from?
The components of windshield glass include silica sand (SiO2), soda ash (Na2 CO3), dolomite ((CaMg)(CO3)2), limestone (CaCO3) and cullet. In some cases, small quantities of potassium oxide and aluminum oxide may also be added. These ingredients are combined with water and heated at a high temperature to produce glass. The process is called chemical fusion because, as the name suggests, the components are fused together.
Windshield glass versus other glass
The windshield glass in your vehicle, because of its size and importance, is called safety glass and is often referred to as laminated glass. To be produced, two pieces are laminated together with a thin layer of vinyl between them. All three components are combined by applying heat and pressure in an oven called an autoclave. The reason for this process is to ensure the highest level of safety possible in the event of a crash. When a driver finds themselves in an accident, the glass does not "shatter," but rather adheres to the center layer of vinyl. In less serious cases, like a chip or crack because of a small object, only the top layer is affected. Meanwhile, the rest of the vehicle has "tempered glass." This glass is made by heating it to astronomical temperatures, making it stronger than non-tempered glass. In the event of an accident, the glass is designed to break into small pieces about the size of rock salt. The objective is to prevent injury to the drivers and passengers with large, jagged pieces of glass.
When a windshield needs to be replaced, ask your auto glass technician if they are using an Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) or Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) replacement windshield. This windshield is produced from original equipment-style tooling, proving to be top quality glass. Aesthetically, the windshield will look most like the original glass at the time of car purchase. Glass America only uses OEM or OEE glass as it is the best option for any replacement. The replacement windshield will fit perfectly, as it is manufactured with your car's make and model in mind. If you need auto glass or windshield repairs or replacement, do not hesitate to contact your local Glass America with any of your questions. The more you know, the better prepared you are to ensure you and your family are safe in your vehicle.