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The History of Automotive Safety Glass

When driving down Arizona’s sunny roads, your automotive safety glass protects you from a number of things. Whether we’re talking about avoiding the natural elements, such as gusts of wind or rain, or even annoying flying pests, your auto glass is a steadfast ally. Moreover, auto glass such as windshields are specifically created to withstand impacts. Granted, this doesn’t mean that all windshields are bullet-proof, of course, but the way that they’re made allows them to “absorb” damage from collisions.

For example, in case of an accident, windshields are designed to overall stay together, instead of shattering inwards, which would be very dangerous to you. That’s part of the reason why in our state it’s actually illegal to drive your vehicle if a crack obstructs your vision. However, aside from being liable to get fined, there are also other dangers of avoiding a windshield repair or replacement. You can definitely try a DIY solution, but only certified technicians can get such issues solved permanently. But before getting into such details, let’s delve righto into the history of auto glass.

How Automotive Safety Glass was Invented

As we’ve already mentioned, the invention of shatter-resistant glass has brought numerous positive changes to the fascinating history of the automobile industry. Its background is one that actually started with a revolutionary discovery. It all began with an accident. Yep, really! You remember that saying, that the greatest inventions were in fact a mistake? Well, this is one of those, a complete fluke!

In 1909, French chemist Édouard Bénédictus had an assistant who had failed to remove the residual cellulose nitrate solution from a glass flask that had previously been filled with it. When the chemist accidentally dropped his glass flask, the broken pieces adhered to a thin layer of plastic that had formed inside the container, from cellulose nitrate. This same chemist went on to create the life-saving buffer found in bullet-proof glass.

The Complete Timeline of The History of Auto Glass

  • The roaring 1920’s saw the birth of the Jazz Age, the effects of World War 1, and the placement of laminated glass in stylish vehicles, like the famous Hudson Roadster, and the classic Oldsmobile. Today, laminated glass windshields are much stronger than their 1920’s predecessors. Still, laminate windshield inclusion played a pivotal role in the popularity found in vehicle safety features.
  • Later, in the 1930’s, tempered glass became another available option. Laminated windshields had made their way into the standard features of many vehicles, and were quickly gaining interest, inspiring inventors to perfect them. A few years later, in 1937, federal regulations required the use of safety glass for all automobiles.
  • The 1950’s saw transparency in laminated windshields increase. The bubbles that formed in the laminate during the heating process had become a safety concern, instead of a safety feature. In 1959, the emergence of float glass created a durable safety barrier.
  • A year before the 60’s decade came to be, glass-making was revolutionized by something called the Pilkington Process. This process involves floating, heating, and molding molten mixtures of silica, water, and other ingredients in controlled chambers, and it is still used today.
  • In the 1970’s, safety became a huge consideration for vehicle makers. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was created to regulate all vehicles on the open road.
  • Today, our automotive safety glass is made out of three layers of materials. Two layers of tempered glass, and one sheet of polyvinyl butyral are fused together seamlessly, to create flexible & durable windshields.

Keep Your Auto Glass in Pristine Shape

When struck, modern windshields and car windows either bulge, or break into tiny pieces, that are relatively harmless. However, chips or cracks shouldn’t be ignored, especially if they’re on your windshield. That’s because such pieces of auto glass are responsible for 45%-60% of your vehicle’s structural integrity! If you’d like to get such issues addressed, for $0 Out-of-Pocket cost no less, our friendly customer care team awaits your call at (480) 525-6554.

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