Modern windshields have developed through the years to provide excellent visibility and protection. Windshields are more complex than some give them credit for. They need to have the flexibility to absorb the shocks of a moving car while providing rigid support for the vehicle's roof. These characteristics are built into the manufacturing process. Here are the seven basic steps in making a modern windshield.
1. Ingredients are carefully mixed to create the glass. Ingredients include silica, calcium oxide, sodium oxide, and even waste glass chips called cullet. These elements come from sand, soda ash, limestone, and recycled glass.
2. The ingredients are heated to a molten state and then feed into a bath of molten tin at temperatures over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. The ingredients are purified through the process as the glass floats along on top of the molten tin. It slowly cools as it moves along the bath before exiting to the furnace.
3. The glass enters the furnace on rollers and is gradually cooled to about 395 degrees before it exits and is further cooled to room temperature. At this point, the glass is hard.
4. A diamond cutting tool scribes the glass at its desired dimensions. It is snapped along these scribes. Today, the process is done automatically using a series of cameras and opto-electronic measuring devices. This precisely cut glass is then laced in a metal mold where it is heated to take the shape of the particular mold.
5. The glass is now tempered by heating it to about 1560 degrees and then quickly cooled by air jets. This creates an exterior surface compression that works with its interior tension. When broken, this allows the glass to be broken into small pieces without sharp edges. The tempering process also allows windshields to crack into larger pieces, allowing adequate vision until the windshield can be replaced.
6. The next step is the lamination process which places a layer of plastic between two pieces of glass. The plastic and glass are bonded through heat and pressure. When glass is tinted in manufacturing, it is through this plastic sheet between the glass.
7. After lamination, the windshield will have plastic moldings installed around it. It is then ready for installation.
When you need an auto glass repair, windshield repair or windshield replacement, you can count on the professionals at Only 1 Auto Glass. We have 15 locations throughout the Twin Cities metro area and our fleet of mobile vehicles can even come right to you. We are auto glass installers who are glad to work directly with your auto insurance company to ensure your auto glass repair or replacement is done properly and to your satisfaction. Discover why more and more of your friends and neighbors, in the Minneapolis, St Paul, Twin Cities area, are choosing Only 1 Auto Glass.
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