What Is Tempered Glass?

The glass used in the windshield and the side and back windows of the vehicle is much different from traditional, regular glass. Tempered glass is specifically designed to be used in vehicles and is manufactured much differently. This type of safety glass is manufactured and utilized in automobiles because it can significantly diminish the possibility of injury when it breaks. So, exactly what is tempered glass and safety glass, and why are they used?

Since the early days of automobiles, glass has played a significant role in all vehicles. Laminated glass, or safety glass, was first used on automobiles beginning about 1919. It was not until the 1940s that tempered glass was incorporated into the rear and side windows of cars and trucks. Even then, tempered glass did not find its way into general use until well into the 1950s.

Tempered Glass

Tempered glass is reheated after it is manufactured in an effort to create a stronger product that is actually more brittle when impacted. Overall, tempered glass is crafted to be nearly 10 times as strong as regular glass. Upon impact, it immediately shatters into small fragments no larger than a pebble. Regular glass tends to shard instead of shatter, causing the potential for lethal problems when broken.

Tempered glass works well as the ideal solution for the rear and side windows of a vehicle for a number of reasons. It is much easier to break, cut or impact than the laminated glass used on the windshield after an accident or during a rescue. To produce a piece of tempered glass, it must be cut and formed into its final shape before the tempering process begins. Any attempt to reshape or cut the product after it has been tempered will quickly result in nothing more than tiny pieces of shattered glass.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass, or safety glass, is what is used to create the front windshield of every car or truck. To formulate the laminated glass, two individual pieces that have an identical shape and form are sandwiched over a transparent plastic known as BVP (polyvinyl butyral). Through an infusion process, using pressure and heat, all three pieces are laminated together. The process eliminates the possibility for the glass to shatter into large shards in the event of a high-impact or collision.

Tempered glass is used in a variety of ways including automobiles. It can also be made into baking dishes, sliding glass doors, mobile phone screens, and even polarized sunglasses.