Category: Windshield Replacement
It is virtually guaranteed that any automobile will need a new windshield if it remains in operation for a long enough period of time. The primary form of protection against wind, rain and other forms of inclement weather, the windshield is designed to withstand many different forms of abuse that city and highway driving alike will present on any trip from point A to point B. The windshield is also a crucial component of any vehicle’s structural integrity and is known to provide the single biggest reinforcement of any area of the vehicle in the event of a roll-over. From rocks that bounce off of trucks and road surfaces to extreme weather that pelts the car with sleet and hail, there is a lot that can wear down a windshield’s strength over time.
A small fracture or crack in the windshield may not be visible at first, but can quickly morph into a much larger problem that requires a complete replacement. Whether your windshield has experienced this or your vehicle has been in a severe accident that warrants replacement, it is important to understand the different types of windshield glass available to you. We will discuss the two primary forms of glass in the following article.
Original Equipment Manufactured Glass
The most common form of windshield glass is the type of glass that comes standard with each automobile, Original Equipment Manufactured (OEM) glass. This windshield solution varies based on each vehicle and is usually designed by the auto manufacturer to fit each particular make and model of automobile. In the cases in which it is not designed by the auto manufacturer directly, it is often outsourced to a reputable third-party that manufactures the glass exactly to the car company’s specifications. This ensures the most ideal fit and requires no special considerations to be made on behalf of you or the auto glass technician.
Original Equipment Equivalent Glass
Most automobile owners are familiar with aftermarket parts for their vehicles and have had these parts used in some form of auto repair or other during its life. Original Equipment Equivalent (OEE) glass is the windshield equivalent of this type of product. In nearly all cases, the manufacturers of this type of auto glass are completely independent of the automobile manufacturers and do not have any special agreements with them in regards to production. OEE glass cannot be created to the exact specifications of OEM glass due to legal constraints, so the thickness, color and shape will vary ever so slightly. Various websites, such as autoglass-milwaukee.com, cover the differences in detail and can help consumers find the best aftermarket solution for their vehicles.
OEM Glass Advantages and Concerns
The biggest advantage to OEM glass is that it comes with a guarantee or warranty that ensures your investment will be covered in the event of defect or select damage. This form of glass is also designed to be an exact fit for your vehicle, so there are no worries about damage, leaks or other issues when it is installed or after the fact. The biggest drawback to OEM glass, however, is its cost. In many cases, OEM glass can cost twice as much as a standard OEE replacement, so it is not always economical for automobile owners to select this alternative. You will also need to find a qualified installation specialist that either has access to OEM glass or can obtain it from a licensed manufacturer; in many cases, individuals resort to dealerships for this installation, which can increase the overall cost of purchase and installation.
OEE Glass Advantages and Concerns
Those who end up selecting Original Equipment Equivalent glass over Original Equipment Manufacturer glass often do so because of price. OEE glass is far more affordable and in almost every instance, just as durable as OEM glass. The wide availability of OEE glass and participating auto glass repair shops that carry it also make its selection a matter of timeliness; OEM glass may have to be ordered and can take several days to be installed. The biggest disadvantage of OEE glass is that it is not designed exactly to the automobile’s specifications as OEM glass is, so long-term concerns of improper fitting and other structural considerations may cause concern for performance vehicles.
For most people OEE glass is the best choice for windshield replacement as it provides a comparable level of protection at a much better price. OEM glass has its place in windshield replacement indianapolis, however, and is usually a safer bet for professional drivers and those who want to ensure their auto investments are protected in the long-run. If you want added value, protection and a warranty for your windshield, then OEM glass is the best choice. Otherwise, OEE glass is a solid alternative and one that provides drivers with just as much peace of mind (and less of a financial burden). Whatever your selection, always remember that the quality of the auto glass repair job is just as important as the auto glass itself.
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.
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.