Making Windshield Auto Glass: The Engineering Behind It

Making Windshield Auto Glass: The Engineering Behind It

May 10, 2021

The first cars invented did not have windshields, which left drivers and their passengers exposed to the elements while wearing goggles. In time, engineers and manufacturers banded together to remedy this. The first windshields not only kept rain and debris out but also protected those in the vehicle with an extra layer of safety. Today, windshields do so much more than keep you dry during a rainy day, they hold some of the most advanced technology to make your driving experience that much nicer. Let’s explore a more in-depth look at the history and precision of auto glass engineering.

The History of Auto Glass

At the beginning of the 1950s, Asahi Glass Company (AGC) began supplying automotive glass to Japanese automobile manufacturers. At the time, the requirements were glass transparency and safety. As time passed, however, different car models were developed and new glass shapes had to be accommodated.

The rise of the radio in the United States required an addition to the glass – antennas by the 1970s. These antennas could broadcast AM and FM stations. As years passed so did the need for media like TV. In time, the glass antenna became so high-tech, it was able to pick up different frequencies, car navigation, keyless systems, etc. By 2003, this technology allowed for the installation of four different antennas in windshields and rear glass. Today, we see windshields with cameras and other technologies to allow for alerting against imminent collisions and advising on navigation and current travel speed.

Auto Glass Engineering

Beginning as early as the 1910s, the need for safe auto glass was as prevalent as ever. During collisions, sadly shattered glass was doing more damage to passengers than the accident itself. Therefore, engineers for Ford and Chrysler developed vehicles with new glass including, by 1934, curved windshields composed of one piece of glass.

From molten glass to special urethane, by the 1950s, General Motors debuted a car with a panoramic windshield for a better view of the road. Of course, the cost of the glass was still high. Auto glass engineers were charged with the task of developing safer, more affordable glass which was made available in the late 1950s. In 1959, the British firm Pilkington initiated a new style of glass-making – a float style that melted, mixed, and pushed glass components through a narrow opening onto a molten tin. The result was cheaper glass of a higher quality. Windshield advancements continued, as did its regulation. In the 1960s, the US government stepped in to establish safety requirements – and not just in the ways you might think. By the 1990s, glass was even reducing infrared penetration.

The concern with auto glass has always been safety and convenience above all else. No wonder the auto glass repair and replacement industry must be so top-notch. By working specifically with individual manufacturers, Glass America technicians are equipped with the latest technology, access to quality glass, and the certifications required to bring you the best possible service. When you need The Best in Auto Glass, don’t hesitate to contact Glass America or get an instant online quote.


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