The Windshield. It’s an essential part of our vehicle and our protection. We wash it, scrape ice from it, and spend at least a small portion of our day staring through it. But just how is this glass made so tough?
The windshield was made in 1904. Long ago, the windshield was very unsafe if you were involved in a car crash because the glass would simply shatter and injure drivers and passengers. Luckily, modern day windshields are made of laminated safety glass. Laminated safety glass is a type of treated glass that consists of two curved sheets of glass with a plastic layer of lamination between them.
What Makes A Windshield?
silica sand (SiO2),
soda ash (Na2 CO3),
Small quantities of potassium oxide and aluminium
oxide are often added.
Making a Windshield:
- Windshields are usually made using a method called the “Float Method.” The glass literally floats inside a chamber during the manufacturing process. The main ingredients are mixed with water inside a chamber that reaches very high temperatures and melted.
- The long piece of glass is sent to another chamber to cool down. The cooled glass is then cut to the required dimensions using a scribe. A scribe is a tool also used to cut diamonds, pretty cool!
- The glass is then placed onto a mould with a slight curvature. The glass is heated once again, just enough so that it becomes soft and will shape onto the mould. After that, the glass is cooled back down extremely fast which strengthens and hardens the glass.
- Two identical sheets of glass are put on the outsides of a layer of Poly-Vinyl Butyrl and fused together to create a sheet of laminated glass.
- The windshield can now be fitted into a vehicle’s metal frame! And there ya have it!