The Types Of Glass Used In Your Vehicle

There may be no other glass people rely on as much as the glass in vehicles. It keeps drivers and passengers safe and it blocks out road noise and weather to keep trips and commutes both safe and comfortable. But how much do you really know about the glass in your cars? Here are a few facts about auto glass and why it works.  

Types of Auto Glass: Tempered and Laminated

There are typically two types of glass that are used to make auto glass: tempered and laminated. Tempered glass is regular annealed sheet glass that has undergone a further heating process to create stronger safety-rated glass. Most commonly, it's put into a furnace and heated to about 1148 °F or about 620 °C. It must then be cooled rapidly with forced-air cooling drafts. The result of this process is a safety glass that's four times stronger than annealed glass. This process also changes the way that tempered glass shatters. Rather than shattering into large jagged and dangerously sharp pieces, tempered glass shatters into smaller and smoother pieces that are much less dangerous.

Laminated glass is the glass used to make your car's windshield. It's typically composed of two or more panels of tempered glass that have been sealed together with an interlayer between the panels. This layer is usually composed of a synthetic plastic like PVB, EVA, or TPU. The result of this interlayer is that laminated glass won't shatter into small pieces. Rather, the interlayer holds it together.  

Auto Glass Sources: OEM, dealer, and aftermarket.

Not all tempered and laminated glass is made the same. That's why the price of replacement glass can vary so widely. Most often the three choices are OEM, dealer, and aftermarket glass.

OEM or original equipment manufacturer is glass that has the same specifications as the glass used by the original glass manufacturer of your vehicle. It's a common misconception that OEM glass is made by the same distributor as your original glass. Because automakers used different glassmakers from year to year, it's not often possible to get the same glass made by the same distributor but it will meet all the specifications of your original glass.

Dealer glass is similar to OEM glass but it's sourced through your auto dealer and has the make of your vehicle stamped onto the glass. With more and more automakers offering smart windshields that can project your car's stats directly onto the windshield, OEM and dealer windshields are becoming more vital for drivers that want to retain those features when looking for replacement glass.

The final option is aftermarket glass, often the most affordable option. This glass is manufactured by companies that usually have no direct link to your automaker but they have manufactured glass using the right specifications to fit your car.

Reach out to a company like Omaha Glass Co. to learn more about auto glass.