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Tempered glass is most commonly used for passenger side windows and the rear window on automobiles while laminated glass typically is reserved for your front windshield. When tempered glass breaks, it is designed to shatter into small pieces that are less likely to cause added injury or damage. Laminated glass is tough to break too as it’s made by creating layers involving glass and a specialized plastic layer, so it tends to bend and flex when hit with any force or blunt object. Both are manufactured for safety and made to absorb impact and break in the safest way possible to minimize risk of injury.



So Why Use Tempered Glass for Side Windows?

Tempered glass, also known as ”toughened glass” is created by heating and rapidly cooling a pre-cut standard piece of glass in a tempering furnace. The term tempering refers to the rapid heating and cooling of the glass to strengthen the glass 5 to 10 times more than it was before it’s tempered.

Tempered glass can also be treated with chemicals and thermal treatments; these treatments help give the piece of glass more balanced internal stress capabilities which makes it ideal to withstand side impacts without shattering.

Tempered glass makes up the backlight, or back windshield, and the sidelines of the doors, as well as other little slivers of glass. This glass is strong, but not as strong as laminated glass. It can be broken easier while maintaining a smooth break. Keep in mind all glass in your car is shatterproof yet still breakable. Tempered glass doesn’t have a layer of plastic on the inside like laminated. So in case of emergencies, like locking your animal or children accidentally inside, it can be broken yet will break safely. When it’s broken it shatters into little dull shards that won’t cause any serious harm to a child or animal that may be in the car. Of course if possible any occupants of a vehicle should move away from windows and shield their face if a window is to be broken out.

Why Is Laminated Glass Best for Your Front Windshield?

Laminated safety glass is normally reserved for your windshield only. Because of its maximum durability it’s more expensive to make. Laminated glass is structurally stronger than tempered glass. It’s composed of 3 layers; the inner layer is made of a plastic called polyvinyl butyral, or PVB. This plastic is inserted between two layers of clear tempered glass.

The PVB on the inside isn’t just for structural integrity, though it does add strength to the windshield; its main purpose is to keep the glass from shattering on impact. Before shattering, laminated glass will bend and flex due to that extra layer of plastic.

The PVB is also usually slightly tinted to provide protection against UV, or ultraviolet rays. Laminated glass blocks around 99 percent of ultraviolet light transmission making it ideal for front glass in a vehicle. In addition, the PVB provides high sound insulation.

At Smiley’s Glass, we take all safety concerns seriously and work hard to provide the safest quality glass installation along with exceptional customer service for all of your auto glass needs. Visit us online for a hassle-free estimate.

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Richmond, VA 23225


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