How is Auto Glass Recycled?
These days, recycling is on the rise. It’s becoming increasingly common to see sorted recycling bins in restaurants, malls, and public spaces. There are also a large number of products that can be made using these recycled materials. With the advancement of technology, we can now recycle a number of items that previously were impossible such as auto glass. Recycling windshields, for instance, is not incredibly difficult and is good for the environment. In fact, it’s estimated that for every ton of glass that is recycled, over one ton of natural resources are saved.
This recycling technology wasn’t always available. In fact, it wasn’t until roughly 20 years ago that auto glass was first recycled. Still today, many windshields are left unrecycled due to auto body facilities not offering this service. Windshields are typically made of two sheets of glass that are sealed together with a plastic interlayer. This inside layer of plastic is what used to prevent recycling from occurring. Today, we have technology that can crush the glass and remove the plastic layer altogether.
While technology has expanded to allow us to recycle more and more glass materials, the process of recycling some glass products is much more complex than others. For example, recycling a glass windshield is much more complex than a glass bottle because most windshields are made from laminated glass. Laminated glass consists of two sheets of glass that are sealed together with a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between the two sheets of glass. This PBV layer helps the windshield stay in-tact in the event of a vehicle collision.
When a windshield first begins its journey through the recycling plant, it is typically pulverized to help separate the glass pieces from the PVB interlayer. It enters a machine that shakes each piece of glass loose so that the inner layer is exposed and can be removed.
The glass then becomes a finely ground substance called “glass cullet”. This glass cullet can be used in a variety of products. It can be mixed in with concrete and used in foundations of buildings and sidewalks. It’s also mixed in with fiberglass, insulation, and asphalt to assist in fortification. It may also be reused and turned back into glass products such as jars and bottles. During this process, the glass cullet is melted down and poured into a mold at a very high temperature before cooling and exiting the mold, revealing its new glass shape.
What It’s Used For
Glass is arguably one of the most versatile substances on earth. Recycled auto glass can be used in a number of different industries. It can be recycled and melted down into new bottles, jars or vases. The glass cullet can also be used in a variety of household surfaces such as custom tilework or recycled glass countertops. Many artisans are recycling glass pieces into mosaics or custom tile pieces and some companies even recycle auto glass into custom glassware pieces for your home. The opportunities are truly limitless with recycled glass.
Next time you need a windshield replacement, make sure you look no further than Smiley’s Glass in Richmond, Virginia. By working with our team, we can make sure your old windshield is recycled and reused so you can feel good as you hit the road with your new one. We offer the safest and finest services when it comes to windshield repair or replacement. You can rest assured that we use only quality, manufacturer approved products as prescribed by the Auto Glass Safety Council’s AGRSS program. For more information on our expert auto glass repair or replacement services, you can contact us by dialing 804-320-7172.