Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 260-1785

A Brief History of the Windshield From an Auto Glass Replacement Expert

When the first automobiles were put into production at the beginning of the twentieth century, they used ordinary window glass. They were too fragile and even the most insignificant incidents could break them. Windshield replacement was not an issue back then, but its weakness led to serious injuries and many deaths.

A series of lawsuits led to the development of stronger windshields. Companies started making them out of toughened glass, fitted in the frame with rubber or neoprene. Upon impact, these windshields shatter into many harmless fragments. The problem was, that the glass used to break from even the smallest stone chip. That, of course, was a gold mine for auto glass replacement companies.

Windshield technology was revolutionized in 1919 when the French developed “glass laminating”. They began making windshields with two layers of glass and one layer of cellulose. The glass breaks on impact but does not fall apart. The inner layer holds the pieces together.

This method is still in use today. Modern windshields are made of laminated safety glass, consisting of two curved sheets of glass with a plastic layer between them. The windshield is bonded into the window frame for further passenger protection. They are safer, stronger, and budget-friendly because you don’t require regular windshield replacement. Motorbikes, however, are often made of high-impact acrylic plastic.

Modern windshields are glued into their frames and do not form sharp glass fragments when broken. They stay in one piece even when pierced by a strong force, like gunshots. Bullet holes cannot be fixed, but according to the US National Windshield Repair Association, most stone damage can be successfully repaired. Circular bullseyes, lines, and star-shaped cracks can be taken care of, without the need for entire auto glass replacement.

If you have cracks in your windshield and you’re located in Alexandria, VA or the surrounding area, check out Low Price Auto Glass. We can tell you if you need an entire windshield replacement or just a repair. Call us at (703) 260-1785.

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