Part 1: Types of Glass

Everyone here at Auto Glass 2020 is passionate about…well, auto glass 🙂

I guess we chose the right name for our company – ha!

Not only are we passionate about auto glass, but we also understand the importance of quality auto glass as it is used to make windshields. Windshields are extremely vital to the overall safety of your vehicle. It’s not just a shield or a physical barrier between the interior of the car and the outside world. The protection it gives us from the environmental elements (ahem, Arizona monsoon season and dust storms, we’re talking about you) is fantastic, but the windshield also functions as structural support for the roof of the vehicle, helps airbags deploy properly, and helps prevent passengers from being ejected in the event of a motor vehicle accident. So, are windshields just made from plain ol’ regular glass? Not even close!

Auto glass is special.

Auto glass is high-tech.

Auto glass is super strong.

Auto glass has to be all of those things to do what it was made to do: keep you and your loved ones safe while driving.

Wait? Glass Can Actually Be Strong?!

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of glass? Hmmm. Many people may think “fragile” or “shattered” or “breakable.” While glass does break – I mean, we’ve all dropped that dinner plate at the most inopportune time – auto glass is not as fragile or as breakable as you may think.

Technology has done incredible things for glass. In general, there are 3 main types of glass: annealed glass, tempered glass, and laminated glass. All 3 of these are manufactured differently, to allow them to be more functional for the specific intentions and environments for which they are preferred for. So, what are they exactly?


3 Types of Glass.

1. Annealed Glass.

  • Annealed glass is sometimes referred to as “non-safety” plate glass. This type of glass gets its name from how it is manufactured, a process called The Annealing Process. I know, right?! How creative ha 🙂
  • The Annealing Process heats the glass above 600 degrees and then is slowly cooled down at a very controlled rate. When annealed glass breaks, it shatters into sharp glass shards so installation of annealed glass must be done by a professional.
  • Annealed glass is often used for the glass parts of furniture (ex: tabletops, cabinet doors).

2. Tempered Glass.

  • Tempered glass is a “safety” plate glass, sometimes referred to as “toughened” glass.
  • The process tempered glass goes through also involves heating and cooling the glass, but in a different way than annealed glass. Tempered glass is usually heated up to 1110 degrees and then the outer surfaces only, are cooled down. This pattern of cooling is different from annealed glass, allowing the outer surfaces of the glass to contract faster than the middle, giving it the strength and durability tempered glass is known for. Tempered glass, if broken, shatters into small rounded (non-sharp) pieces so is less likely to cause extensive damage. It also can safely and quickly shatter in situations where someone needs to be rescued.
  • Tempered glass is often used for glass tables, shower doors, and some car windows.

3. Laminated Glass.

  • Laminated glass is another type of “safety” plate glass, similar to tempered glass.
  • Windshields are made from laminated glass because rather than shattering like tempered glass, it is more likely to maintain its integrity in the event of an object hitting the glass or if one was to be in a motor vehicle accident.
  • Laminated glass actually consists of three layers, and the science of its manufacturing process is pretty incredible. Stay tuned for our upcoming blog that goes into all the nitty-gritty details of the process!!
  • Laminated glass is typically used for windshields and in some architectural elements (ex: skylights).

We Love Glass. And We Love Fixing Glass.

No matter what kind of auto glass damage you may have – whether your windshield is chipped or cracked, laminated or tempered – we’ve got you! Call us TODAY at (480) 283-7751 or get a quote here. Our technicians will, expertly and quickly, get your car’s auto glass repaired or replaced in no time. Getting you back out on the road safely as soon as possible.