How is Car Glass Made?

March 17, 2016

Demystifying the manufacture of auto glass.

Genuine guardian glazes!

Imagine a pane of glass, sailing along nearly upright at over 50mph. Sounds weird and a little dangerous, right? The only difference between that scenario and you driving down the highway is there's a car attached to your pane of glass! This unique situation requires specialized glass, in this case tempered glass, to ensure your safety as you carry on down the road.

Tempered glass differs from non-tempered or non-strengthened glass in that the surface of the glass is put under stresses that actually provide strength and are what cause the glass to shatter in the case of failure, preventing the formation of large, hazardous shards. Tempered glass also differs in the way it is made.

Fantasy Fabrication

When you think of glass products being made, what comes to mind? A glass blower working a glob of molten material? Perhaps a huge block of crystal being whittled down to the items on your shelf? Maybe we’ll get way out there and imagine a layer of molten glass being poured onto a channel of molten metal with a few chemicals thrown in for effect.

Does that last one sound a little too far fetched? Funny enough, this is the exact process that much of the auto glass in the world goes through during manufacturing. Referred to as Float Glass, it is a specific process in which tempered glass is made by feeding molten glass onto a “tin bath”. The benefits of such a process being a uniformly flat surface, free of distortions. During a controlled cooling process, it is fed through a set of machines that control the thickness of the glass, as well as the width of the piece as it passes through. Continual cooling takes places before and after the pieces are cut, and bent into shape for the designated vehicle.

While it may slip our minds as a (literally!) invisible part of the car, our car windshields and other car glass have as much thought and engineering put into them as the rest of our vehicles!

Need it Fixed?

If you’re in need of car or auto glass work, check out our estimates for repair and replacement, talk to our friends at Safelite today!

Schedule an Appointment or Call Now: (877) 303-3376

About the Author

Robert Lindsey is an automotive expert at RepairPal, the leading online source of auto repair resources and estimates. With many ASE Master certified mechanics on staff who have decades of experience, RepairPal knows all the fine points of car repair.

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