Having a windshield is important for the safety of you and your passengers. This means that the glass used to make them needs to be strong enough to resist minor collision damage. It also needs to maintain its clarity over time. In addition to this, it must also be resistant to shattering.
The main component of the glass that is used to make a windshield is silica. The sand and limestone used in the manufacturing process contribute to the strength and durability of the material. Another important ingredient is soda ash. This compound reduces the melting point of the glass. The resulting laminated glass is extremely sturdy. Its main purpose is to keep the driver safe in the event of a crash.
Other elements that are considered to be part of a windshield include the frame and the wipers. These components are also important to the overall safety of the vehicle. The frame is the part of the vehicle that holds the windshield in place. The wipers are the mechanism that keeps the windshield clean and free of debris. This system is designed to protect the driver and passenger from flying objects.
The first step in making a windshield involves mixing the appropriate ingredients and heating the mixture. The result is a glass that is heated to a specific temperature. The formula is then transferred into a metal tin. The glass then floats on the tin, and it is subsequently transported through a special furnace to achieve the desired shape.
The next step is to cut the glass into the appropriate size and shape. These sheets are then placed onto a mold. The glass is then shaped into the desired form using a diamond-cutting tool called a scribe. Then it is cooled to complete its esoteric shape.
A third layer is then added between the two layers of glass. This layer is made of PVB or polyvinyl butyral. This layer is also bonded with a special adhesive. This material is also heat treated to make it resistant to shattering.
A black outline is sometimes silk screened on the glass to hide unsightly areas of the windshield. The same color glass is also manufactured for the aftermarket market. The black outline is usually for cosmetic purposes.
The process of manufacturing a windshield is highly scientific. There is a plethora of tests and inspections done to ensure that each product is of the highest quality. The results of these tests are then carefully reviewed by trained inspectors. The windshield is then tested for its performance in direct hits and collisions. It is able to pass the Steel Ball Test, which is the test of whether it will withstand a large impact.
The glass used to make a windshield is the smallest of the glass trinity. It is the least likely to shatter. It has the same properties as tempered glass. It is also able to anneal. This is because of the special treatments that are applied to it.