The Important Considerations of Tempered and Laminate Auto Glass

Whether you are in the market for a new automobile or need some vital repairs performed in the wake of an accident, auto glass is one of the most important elements of a vehicle that often is given very little consideration. Most people consider glass to be a fairly uniform element, but there are several different types that are used in various automobile applications. Each type can be useful in one situation or another; the incorrect usage or application of auto glass can create dangerous circumstances if you are suddenly caught in an automobile accident, so it is vital to understand how important these subtle differences are for your safety. In years past, a wide selection of auto glass was not available due to industrial and scientific advances yet to be achieved.

These days, however, virtually all automobiles are sold with optimized forms of laminate auto glass and tempered glass installed. If you are an auto repair technician that wants to expand your business to provide this vital service or an automobile owner who simply wants to know more, then continue reading to find out about how each type of auto glass is used and why its application is so important.

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The Process of Manufacturing Tempered Glass

The initial process of creating tempered glass is no different than that of any other form of glass. The appropriate size is the first cut for an automobile, which will ensure a proper fit. Next, a technician or specialist will inspect the glass for any imperfections or cracks that could cause problems during the heating process. If the piece of glass is determined to be in adequate shape, its edges are then sanded and the sheet of glass is washed. The heating process is then initiated, raising the temperature of the glass to over 1100 degrees Fahrenheit. The final step is a process known as quenching, which bombards the glass with high-pressure air and rapidly cools it. This process hardens the exterior of the glass more so than the interior, ensuring that it breaks into small pieces if fractured (as opposed to jagged chunks).

The Process of Manufacturing Laminate Glass

Laminate glass comes in many different forms, but the overall process of manufacturing most forms of laminate glass is fairly similar. Two pieces of auto glass are cut to the appropriate size, inspected for defects, and then sanded to ensure a snug fit. After this step is complete, a layer of polyvinyl butyral is then placed in between the two sheets of glass and heated to ensure that the glass bonds to it; this prevents the glass from separating in the event a collision. The two sheets of glass are also aided by the polyvinyl butyral in the event something hits the windshield directly, as the blow is softened and the glass cannot crack or separate extensively. This helps prevent cuts or further damage to you or passengers in the wake of an unforeseen accident.

How Tempered Glass Is Used

Tempered glass is the type of glass that you will find in your vehicle’s windows, vent glass and back glass. In the event a rock or other object penetrates tempered glass, it will simply shatter into tiny pieces with relatively smooth edges and protect passengers from additional damage as a result of abrasions or punctures. Due to the design of most automobiles, passengers do not have a risk of being thrown out the side or back of a car and as such, the shattering design of tempered glass is ideal for these applications. It is not, however, the best application for windshield glass – for fairly obvious reasons.

How Laminate Glass Is Used

In automobile applications, laminate glass is almost exclusively used in the design of windshields. Because laminate glass is designed to hold together and not fracture (thanks to the polyvinyl butyral), it is a much better solution for the front-facing glass of any vehicle. Assuming a driver and his or her passengers are wearing their seat belts, laminate glass can be a great way to prevent ricochet objects and other obtrusive elements from penetrating the cabin of a vehicle. It is also a better solution for preventing individuals from being hurled from an automobile in the wake of an accident, although no glass design is full-proof in this regard. Laminate glass that is used in windshield manufacturing is also responsible for providing up to half of the structural integrity of a vehicle’s cabin in the event of a roll-over.


With two very different applications, tempered glass and laminate glass are both vital and necessary elements of any automobile. If you plan on offering auto glass repair and installation services to new or existing clients in the future, then it is paramount to understand the basic differences between the two options. After reading the basic differences outlined above, you should have a better understanding of how these two different forms of auto glass function and when each will be needed especially a Windshield Repair Shop is needed.