Windshields are made of a special type of safety glass designed to withstand strong impacts and help prevent injuries. If you're in the market for auto glass replacement or repair, you may be curious about the process that goes into making this protective material. Most windshields, whether made for new vehicles or as auto glass replacements, are manufactured via the "float method," which is discussed in more detail below.
An Overview of the Auto Glass Fabrication Process
The glass ingredients are mixed with water in a tank. The tank maintains an extremely high temperature to ensure all ingredients melt. This mixture then passes through a long, thin opening to a second tank.
The second tank is known as the float chamber. It’s from this step that the windshield manufacturing process takes its name. The mixture essentially floats on top of a layer of molten tin, which flattens the glass and removes impurities.
Next, the glass is taken to another chamber or kiln called a lehr. There it is slowly cooled to around 395 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s then removed from the lehr and cooled further to room temperature before being cut.
Now the glass is shaped into the recognizable dimensions of a windshield. First the glass sheet is cut into smaller parts with a tool called a scribe. Then these individual pieces are laid in a mold. They are again heated, but not to a melting point – only enough to make them sufficiently supple to fully relax into the mold. Next, the glass is tempered with strong jets of cool air to more firmly set it into its new shape.
Finally, the glass is laminated on either side, first with a thin layer of ultraviolet plastic, then with a sheet of tempered glass. To make certain these layers adhere, the entire product is heated and pressed flat by rollers. Once it cools, the new windshield is ready to be installed in a new car or as an auto glass replacement.
The complex steps involved in producing a windshield demonstrate the durability and safety of this type of glass. When you're in the market for an auto glass replacement, trust FB Glass. For more than four decades, they’ve been serving the Greater Rochester and Monroe County, NY, area. They also offer repairs. They’ll gladly work with insurers to make their services convenient for all customers. To obtain a free estimate, call (585) 441-1209 or visit them online.