With 50,000 cars on our roads, safety plays a crucial role. Accidents have been on the rise due to the tremendous increase in the number of vehicles on the road. The rise in accidents has led to new developments in safety, particularly in the field of windshields. Laminated glass is safety glass that doesn’t shatter after an impact, no matter big or small. It is supposed to be one the most strong and sturdy type of glass used in the fields of automobiles, architecture and places that need high security like jewellery stores, bank etc.
Unlike normal glass, laminated glass is made by sandwiching a glass sheet between two or more portions of glass. This sheet is known as poly vinyl butyral (PVB) which is what helps to keep the glass from breaking.
Casualties in accidents were on a steep rise due to windshields not being strong and sturdy. Often, due to the impact of the crash, drivers would get seriously injured as windshield would shatter since it couldn’t withstand the impact. It is then when manufacturers realised the need for a stronger and more durable glass that could stand tough in such situations. And thus, in 1919 they made a glass that was strong enough to take the brute force of such impacts. Even after breaking and being punctured, the laminated glass will stay together because of the chemical PVB. Laminated glass was first used in 1927 in automobiles as a windshield.
Usually the side and rear windows are made of tempered glass, so they shatter into small pieces after breaking. As the tempered glass breaks into small particles it is less harmful than breaking into sharp pieces. Thus, windshields are made of laminated glass to protect the driver and the co-driver. The laminated glass in the car has two main functions. Firstly, it helps the co driver’s air bag to open up properly. The air bag at the driver’s side usually pops up to the drivers face. But when the passenger’s air bag opens up, it bounces off the windshield and then lands in the required position to safeguard the passenger. The second function it provides is that the driver is saved from deep cuts that would have been caused by the breaking of the windshield on impact. Often while driving, there are many objects like stone, metal etc. that hit the vehicle out of nowhere. Hence this glass very well plays its role in avoiding accidents regarding the same.
So to conclude, laminated glass may just look like any other ordinary glass, but it really has some extra-ordinary features.