Safety glass is used in all automobile glass. It is manufactured to reduce the likelihood of injury, if it breaks. Windshields are made from a lamination process. The windshield glass in your car is made of laminated glass, which is designed to offer highest levels of safety in the event of a crash. The laminated glass is made up of two pieces of glass, with a thin layer of vinyl between them. The three pieces are laminated together by applying heat and pressure in a special oven called an autoclave. When a small object strikes a piece of safety glass, typically only the outer layer of the windshield that is struck breaks.
However, in severe impact situations, the glass “shatters” but usually does not fly apart because the broken pieces of glass generally adhere to the vinyl inner lining.
The side and rear windows are made of tempered glass, which is produced by heating the glass to more than 1,100°F and then rapidly cooling it. This “tempering” process makes the glass many times stronger than un-tempered glass of the same thickness.
If broken, tempered glass is designed to disintegrate into small pieces of glass about the size of rock salt. There should be no large, jagged pieces of glass to injure the driver or passengers.
Every part on a new car, comes from the original equipment manufacture (OEM), including the windshield. This glass meets the original specifications for safety and quality as the glass that it came with from the factory.
Windshields may look simple, but they are actually made from two pieces of glass that are bent in a very precise way. If a windshield does not meet the exact specifications of the manufacturer, it will not fit precisely in your car.
The best way to assure exact fit is to use a windshield produced from a fixture engineered to manufacturer’s specifications. OEM glass is your assurance that this has occurred.
For windshield replacement, you have the option to select a replacement made by a company that manufactures OEM windshields, or glass made from non-OEM manufacturers referred to as aftermarket glass. Both OEM and aftermarket glass must comply with the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, but there are two important OEM benefits:
An OEM replacement windshield is produced from original equipment-style tooling. This type of windshield will have the appearance of your car’s original windshield and will insure proper fit in the window frame reducing noise and leakage problems.
OEM glass manufacturers partner with automobile producers to enhance overall functionality and improved performance. Because of their close work with carmakers, OEM manufacturers have a greater knowledge of the engineering demands a car can place on the windshield and their replacement windshields are made using the same quality assurance systems as for new vehicles.