As you know, your auto glass is just that, it’s glass. It can be laminated and treated, but still remains at the basic level, glass. You may have never thought of the use of polycarbonate (plastic) auto glass but this may be a common part of vehicles in the near future. Plastic windows are no a new thing, where polycarbonate has been used in racing car windows for many years now to shed unneeded weight. It makes sense, since polycarbonate windows can weight over half as much as their glass counterparts.
Plastic cannot be used to replace every pane of glass in your vehicle. Door windows and windshields cannot be strictly made of polycarbonate because of safety. Polycarbonate is flexible and impact resistant, so this would make it very difficult for first responders in the event of an accident. Only sunroofs and rear windows see the possibility of polycarbonate replacing the auto glass.
The down side of polycarbonate is that is can haze and scratch. This has been a problem for vehicle headlight housings, but a UV-blocking layer can counteract the hazing, but scratching is a problem. Scratches also make polycarbonate a poor choice in vehicle windshields where visibility is key.
However, you may still see the use of polycarbonate in vehicle sunroofs and rear windows in the next coming years. This can reduce weight, and thus boost the gas mileage of vehicles. The fact still remains that polycarbonate windows will see a place in vehicles of the future.
It is still winter time, which means that in your area, temperatures can still dip below or well-below freezing. This can lead to not only having to wear a few extra layers in the morning, but also having to potentially scrape ice and frost off a windshield in the morning before driving to work or running errands. Take the few extra minutes to either scrape the windshield or defrost it. It is the little extra time spent that will potentially save you money and keep you out of harm’s way.
Recent news articles reveal that people failing to defrost or scrape the ice off their windshields are really risking their safety. There have been a few articles about a few motorists who have gotten into accidents because they failed to scrape their windshields. It is not worth it to drive with a frosted-over windshield. Also, if you fail to defrost or scrape your windshield, you can also be fined. You can be ticketed for obstructed driving, since you do not have a clear line of sight. With that said, be safe this winter, and take that extra time to scrape those windshields.
Windshields have already come a long way from what they used to be. They started off as a plain and simple pane of glass to something that has built in safety features, among other benefits. Technology is always progressing, and every single thing is getting improved by it in one way or another. Obviously, this applies to your windshield as well. While it is still in development, windshields of the future have been featured in auto shows and technology websites.
Some windshields already feature HUD’s, or head up displays which fall right in your line of sight and show whatever your gauges typically tell you. Currently in development is a windshield with a full HUD, that is interactive and can show information on things you are driving by. You would be able to make reservations to a passing restaurant just by waving your hand, or find information on a landmark. This shows promise for a future in driving but we are still years away from a windshield like this.
The future seems to go wiper-less. There are concepts in using compressed air to remove rain water or grime from your windshield, or even just simple aerodynamics and surface treatments. Imagine a future where there are no more pesky windshield wiper replacements. Sounds good, right? Whatever the future may hold, you are guaranteed that the windshield of the future will be very different from what you look through now.
The summer season is a time for barbecues and relaxation, as well as pools, beaches, and cool glasses of lemonade. But why is this? Because it’s hot! These few months of summer can get pretty hot, and for this year in 2012, we are seeing some of the highest temperatures on record. What does this mean? Added cooling costs for your home and a higher toll on the things you use outside, like your vehicle. Be sure to properly maintain your vehicle’s windshield in the summer time.
The sweltering heat can do damage to your windshield, especially if chips and cracks are present. The heat can cause cracks to expands and cause cracks to develop from windshield chips. It is also a good idea to park your car in the shade and to not direct cool air from your air conditioning onto the hot glass as it causes a sudden temperature change that can elongate cracks.Keep your windshield in mind during these hot summer months. It can save you money and keep you safe. Stay cool this summer, and take care of that windshield.
You may not give much thought when you are driving to that simple piece of glass in front of you. Surprisingly enough, that glass serves a great purpose besides just keeping the wind out of your hair and bugs out of your teeth. It serves itself as a structural piece to the car and keeps you safe in an accident.
To begin, a windshield is not your typical piece of glass. when cars were first designed, they used traditional window glass that tended to shatter with impact and injure passengers of the car. After this, they used tougher glass that would shatter into many mostly harmless fragments, but could easily break from a rock chip. It wasn’t until Henry Ford helped introduce lamiated glass to vehicles. This is two panes of glass that sandwiches a layer of plastic between them, keeping the windshield whole when shattered. Modern windshields still hold this.
Windshields are first made by combining and melting the raw materials of glass, including oxides found in substances like sand and limestone. At over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, it is melted and then fed to a chamber where it is suspended over a pool of molten tin. This allows the glass to flatten and the added temperatures remove the impurities. From here, it is introduced to a furnace which actually cools the glass and then it is allowed to settle to room temperature. A diamond scribe is used to score and break the glass into smaller pieces, where it is reheated to take its proper shape and then hardened. Now it is laminated with another piece of glass and ready to be fitted to your vehicle.
We have all had this happen to us, and if you haven’t it might just happen to you! Driving down a road or highway behind a truck, you may see a rock get kicked up and impact your windshield. Sometimes, if you’re lucky, it won’t leave any damage. Other times, you may find a star-shaped chip and crack in your windshield. While this may seem minor, there are some inherent dangers to this.
Your windshield if now designed right into support of your car’s roof. While the pillars in the corners of your car certainly provide support, the strength of the windshield is now crucial in providing support for the roof, especially in the unfortunate case of a rollover. As a whole, the windshield is strong until you get a pesky chip or crack. These ruin the integrity of your windshield and compromise its strength.
Once you get a chip, check it first. Sometimes it can just be a splattered bug that can be easily cleaned off. Other times you may not be so lucky. Check the size of your chip. Small chips are not bad but anything larger than a quarter may have crushed glass in the center, requiring complete windshield replacement.
However, all is not lost. For chips smaller than the size of a quarter, these can actually be repaired. Your local auto glass professional can inject resin directly to the source and fuse the cracks together, returning the windshield back to its structural integrity. This will then be clean and polished to make it look as if it were new again. For any small chips, get them repaired easily and save yourself money.