Auto Glass: Laminated Versus Tempered

The right windshield can add extra safety to your vehicle and also streamline the look of it.

For the last 70 years, laminated glass has been the preferred choice in most vehicles. Invented at the turn of the last century, laminated glass is actually several layers. It has two or more layers of glass surrounding an inner plastic or resin layer which serves as a binding interlayer. This interlayer keeps the glass from breaking into smaller, more dangerous pieces in the event of an accident. Instead, the glass breaks into the common “spider web” pattern seen in almost every crash. There is also tempered glass. Tempered safety glass is a single piece of glass that has been heated then cooled quickly to harden it. Tempering glass strengthens the glass to about 5-10 times the original strength. This allows it to break into small, pebble like pieces without sharp edges. Tempered glass is generally used in side windows on vehicles to allow for emergency escape.

Since it doesn’t allow the glass to completely shatter, laminated glass is ideal for vehicles of all shapes and sizes. It has also benefited the consumer by being largely repairable; chips and cracks can be easily repaired with resin. While its safety features are innumerable, it actually has more features that make it the number one choice for auto glass manufacturers and auto glass repair services.

Laminated glass is much more difficult to shatter than glass that has been tempered. That means that theft is greatly reduced simply because of the amount of time that it would take for the thief to effectively shatter it. Also, the extra layer in laminated glass is perfect to reduce exterior noise. It makes the car more comfortable without blocking out emergency sounds such as ambulance and police sirens. Most laminated glass comes with the options for UV protection and temperature control. This helps to protect you and your passengers from UV rays and keeps your car at a more comfortable temperature during the warmer months.

Tempered glass, while it has its advantages, should never be used in windshields. It simply is too easy to shatter. And while this can be beneficial in side windows for safety reasons, it can be extremely hazardous in a windshield. A rock that would only chip laminated glass could potentially shatter tempered glass; which could be incredibly dangerous if you’re traveling at high speed on the freeway.

It’s important to keep your glass, whatever the material, in good condition. Letting chips on a windshield develop into long cracks can present safety hazards as well as affect the functionality of your windshield. Auto glass repair services are available to repair your auto glass with a minimal cost to you. Depending on the circumstance, the repair may even be covered by your insurance company.

Speak to your insurance agent or a certified auto glass repair technician today to discuss your options and how much it would cost. Older vehicles need to be inspected to make sure that they have the correct type of safety glass installed.


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