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Types of Auto Glass

Vehicles are a remarkable combination of fixed and moving parts, of metal, plastic, and glass. When something goes wrong, you look to find a suitable technician to get you back on the road. When it comes to damaged windscreens, side and rear windows, and glass panel roofs on a vehicle, for Winnipeg residents, there’s Hometown Auto Glass, your locally owned and operated expert in auto glass and windshield repair with over 60 years of experience. However, did you know that there are different types of glass for vehicles?

A form of safety glass is used in the making of all automobile glass because it reduces the likelihood of injury if it breaks. In 1927 the automobile industry began using laminated glass by taking two pieces of glass and sticking them together with a transparent piece of plastic called polyvinyl butyral (PVB). The plastic and two sheets of glass are infused by using heat and extreme pressure. This process keeps the windshield glass from shattering apart during a collision. Today, two different types of glass are used in making automobile glass - laminated and tempered:

  • The windshield of a car is for safety and protection from debris on the road and is manufactured in a way to support the structure of a vehicle. Modern windshields are generally made of laminated safety glass, are bonded into the window frame, and are mainly used where the possibility of human impact can occur. Since it does not usually shatter, the broken pieces adhere to the plastic lining, giving it a spider web-like appearance.

  • The majority of car side window glass are generally made with tempered glass and are held in place by glass run channels that also serve to contain any fragments of glass if the glass breaks. Rapid heating and cooling methods are used to manufacture tempered glass. In an accident, or when the stability of the glass is compromised, the tempered glass will not shatter but breaks into tiny dull pebble-like pieces that do not cut like regular shattered glass.

  • Motorbike windshields are made of high-impact acrylic plastic.

There are also special types of windshields, including:

  • Rain-sensing windshields, where an infrared sensor in the windshield determines how much it is raining and turns the windshield wipers on at the proper speed.

  • Heated windshields that connect to the car’s electrical system, heating up thin wires that run through the windshield - handy to have in icy, cold regions like Winnipeg.

  • Antenna-embedded windshields, eliminating the need for a traditional antenna.

  • A heads-up display projects the car’s speed onto the windshield, so drivers don’t have to look down at the dashboard.

Tempered glass is not repairable, but the laminated glass is. This is why windshield repair is often offered, but window repair is not, and usually requires that the entire piece be replaced. If you need auto glass repair or replacement, contact Hometown Auto Glass in Winnipeg today. Our technicians are I-Car® certified for your protection and peace of mind. We also offer freestone chip repairs with comprehensive deductibles.


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