Modern windshields are more safer and easier to handle, compared to the earlier glass ones. Glass is a very brittle substance and can crack very easily even by the smallest of debris hitting it, the shards in particular, are very dangerous which can lead to serious injuries. The infusion of a cellulose layer in between the glass sheets curved and formed to make the modern-day windshield takes care of the shattering as the shards are not separated even on impact. Windscreens or windshields are generally divided into two categories, each with their own pros and cons.
Laminated windshields: Lamination is a process where the two or more sheets of glass used to curve and make the surface of the windshield are fused together under extreme heat and pressure with another cellulose based plastic material called polyvinyl butyral. This process bonds all the layers to form one single piece of glass and thus making the windshield more durable and shatterproof as the shards cling on to the cellulose base, in case there is any damage. This type of a windshield also acts as a cushion, in case the driver or occupant on the passenger side is not wearing a seatbelt so that he or she doesn’t end up being thrown out, going through the glass if the impact if severe. Laminated windshields are a preferred option since the infused plastic coating also helps cut down the UV radiation, minor cracks and any damages are easy to repair and also are easy to shape and curve to suit the aesthetics of any modern day vehicles manufactured.
Tempered windshields: The process of tempering involves rapidly heating and cooling a surface, which in turn strengthens the same. This process is applicable for a lot of materials, glass especially being one of them. Tempered glass is rapidly heated to a certain temperatures and then cold air is used to cool it down quickly. The sudden rise and fall in the core temperature makes the glass harden and become robust. Tempered glass has a tendency to shatter, but they shatter in big rounded pieces which is not as fatal as regular glass shards. This is one of the reasons why even tempered glass is a safer alternative. The process of tempering also make the glass more resistant to heat. But on the downside, tempered glasses cannot be repaired as easily as the laminated ones since individual shards cannot be put back together.
Visit popular windshield manufactures to know more about the cheapest but durable ones you can buy.