Have you ever stopped to wonder why your car windscreen does not simply explode when you encounter an errant rock on a motorway? After all, if somebody were to throw a rock like this with force against one of your windows back home, the result would be rather dramatic. In short, the difference is down to lamination, or a process that helps to ensure that your windscreen remains largely intact in this type of situation. How does this work?
Many generations ago and before this type of technique was discovered, car windscreens were made from plate glass. Drivers soon discovered that this was far from ideal, as the screen would be destroyed upon impact and the resulting shower of glass could injure the occupants.
The Quest for Safety
In the early 20th century, some manufacturers began to experiment with a process that would allow them to make the glass inherently stronger. They would heat and cool the glass in a certain fashion while it was being made and before it was fitted to the vehicle. While this was certainly an improvement, lamination was the breakthrough that the auto industry was waiting for.
When your windshield is laminated, two separate pieces of glass (both of which have been tempered to make them stronger) are joined together with a separate sheet of vinyl in between. This clear sheet will bind the two separate layers of glass and, crucially, will make the individual pieces of glass stick in place should the screen shatter. Therefore, while the broken windshield may look much worse for wear following an incident, all of the individual pieces of glass will have remained in place. This is, of course, a much safer option, as the driver will be able to continue uninjured while pulling over safely to the side.
Annoying but Safe
Of course, nobody wants to deal with a windscreen that has been severely damaged in this way, and they may curse that errant rock. However, this is a much more palatable scenario when compared to those early-day motorists who might have had to deal with injuries at the same time.
Time for a Replacement
Unfortunately, a windscreen that has been significantly damaged by an errant rock must be replaced, even if the driver can still see where they're going. The screen will have been compromised and will not be able to perform as it should, so you will need to get it replaced as soon as possible.
For more information, contact a windscreen replacement company.