Air bags, seatbelts, and windshields have a common purpose: enhance your safety. A vehicle’s condition is known by how these parts are maintained by the owners. Out of these three, the windshield is the most important because of its additional features and benefits. It is apparent in how it keeps up the structural integrity of the vehicle when dealing with the heat often seen during the summer in Prescott.
In this article, we will see how worthy are the windshield repair and other auto glass replacement services. The components of a windshield might give some clue to how it is repaired. Two sheets of glass are laminated using a layer of polyvinyl butyrate (PVB) to make a piece. A chip or a crack is the most common problem and it tends to spread over a period. An early repair can save a lot of time and money. The manufacturers’ specification of installing a windshield is nearly impossible to duplicate as well. Therefore, in many cases, replacement is not advisable.
Prescott Windshield Replacement – Cost Factors
We don't spend much time in our lives thinking about one of the most ubiquitous products surrounding us every day: Glass. Glass is everywhere! Look around and you will see it in your home, office, eyeglasses (unless they're plastic), ceramics like toilets and dishes, bottles, light bulbs, tv screens, and of course in your car.
What is Glass? It's a combination of materials, most commonly silicon dioxide (sand), lime, and potash. There are specialty glasses made of other materials but the kind we see all the time, soda-lime glass, is mostly composed of the three materials mentioned above. For an easy-to-understand detailed explanation of glass, visit Wikipedia and type in the search term glass.
The two common types of glass we interact with daily, annealed and tempered, are basically the same products that have undergone different manufacturing treatments to give them individual characteristics. These characteristics are designed to serve certain functions.
Tempered glass is known as safety glass because it shatters into hundreds of tiny blocks, instead of into long sharp-edged, knife-like shards that can inflict terrible wounds. The small blocks of broken tempered glass are much less likely to cut human flesh. Tempered glass is used in the side windows and back glass on cars, as well as in commercial glass, sliding doors, and windows that reach to the floor.
Annealed glass, like in your kitchen window, is used to make windshields. You might wonder how in the world a kitchen window can be used in front of a driver. That's crazy! Yes, that would be crazy, unless the annealed glass was laminated together with a strong piece of plastic and another piece of glass to make a sandwich called laminated safety glass.
When you look through your windshield, you are looking through all three pieces, two of glass and one of plastic. The glass sticks to the plastic when it breaks. No doubt you've seen a shattered windshield and noticed that it hangs together in one big cracked piece. This is what makes the windshield different from your kitchen window.
Tempered glass is very tough and is difficult to break unless it gets punched with a sharp object. You may have seen a tool advertised on TV that's used to escape from a car by breaking the tempered side window. The tool is like a small hammer with a sharp point. Sadly, criminals have also discovered a use for it and keep it in their criminal toolbox. If you've ever suffered a broken window during a car break-in, it was probably done with one of these tools.
When it's manufactured, tempered glass is just like annealed glass. Then it goes through a heating process to "temper" it, making it tough and resilient. The glass is cooled quickly so the outside contracts and forms a compressed outer layer. It puts the whole piece of glass under tremendous stress and that's why it seems to explode when broken. The stress is released so powerfully that the glass breaks into harmless little chunks.
Why isn't tempered glass used in windshields? Many years ago it was used for windshields in some cars. Laminated safety glass just makes a better, safer product for the front of your car because it stays in place, even when broken, and keeps flying debris out of your face. It also helps to keep occupants inside the car.
The glass that we know is an unusual and interesting substance. Other materials can also be classed as glass. You might say that glass is not a substance but a quality or characteristic. A scientist might refer to glass as a state, much like a gas, liquid, or solid. Water makes a good example. Water can be gaseous (steam), liquid, or solid (ice), however it is not seen in a glassy state like liquid rock (lava) or molten metal.
Nature produces glass constantly. People who live in volcanic areas are familiar with obsidian, a glass used by early Americans to shape arrowheads, spear tips, and knives.
Just remember that when you are replacing your auto glass, the material you are looking through has an interesting history and unique characteristics that few other materials can match. Glass has been around for centuries and will endure into the foreseeable future.
Windshield Replacement - A Major Safety Precaution
In the event of an accident, the windshield of your vehicle is just as important as the seat belts, airbags, and other safety features of your vehicle. Windshields are specially constructed to provide support and integrity to the vehicle's passenger compartment, and to prevent as much injury as possible to the occupants. For this reason, it is important to make sure that your windshield is structurally sound and not compromised in any way.
How are windshields made?
Windshields are constructed from laminated glass. This laminated glass is composed of two or more layers of glass, with a thin plastic sheet in between. This transparent sheet of plastic is actually called polyvinyl butyrate, or PVB, and is fused between the layers of glass in an adhesion process which utilizes pressure and heat to bind the layers together.
The PVB film keeps the glass from shattering in the event of an accident. On impact, most of the glass is kept from entering the vehicle's cabin, and can even act as a retainer to keep objects, including you, inside the vehicle.
Auto Glass Repair
Modern windshields can contain a plethora of features and technologies within the windshield proper. Some of these features commonly include heating mechanisms, sensors, tints, coatings, and radio antennas. They may even contain more sophisticated features including heads-up-displays (HUD) and satellite uplinks. With these kinds of features, it is not hard to understand why windshields can be expensive. This is also why windshield repair is a common solution to cracked, scratched, and damaged windshields.
During a windshield repair, the technician uses a specially formulated resin, injecting it into the damaged area of the glass. The resin is then cured, restoring the windshield's integrity, and polished to restore the clarity of the glass.
Auto Glass Replacement
13-14 million windshields are replaced annually in the United States, most commonly caused by flying debris, vandalism, and collisions. It is important to realize that windshield replacement is a complicated, challenging process that should only be performed by properly trained professionals.
Replaced windshields must be perfectly positioned and installed as to not compromise the integrity of the vehicle's cab. The windshield provides essential support to the passenger compartment in the event of an accident, especially in rollovers. Think of the windshield as the keystone of an arch.
Auto Glass Service
Whether needing repair or replacement, it is vital to hire a qualified professional to perform the required task that is needed. All newly manufactured vehicles are required to comply with standing FMV safety standards for auto glass before being sold in the United States. The same guidelines do not apply to replacement windshields. National Glass Association (NGA) certified technicians should provide an installation that is comparable to these standards upon request.
Windshield Repair and Replacement: How to Reduce Cost Without Lowering Quality