Made by “sandwiching” a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayer between two glass panes, laminated glass is a very sturdy, cost-effective and, most importantly, safe option for a variety of applications, including cars, trucks, trains, combines, buses, RVs and ATVs. It’s strong, which helps it resist the penetration of impacting objects. It’s durable and remains in place, even when broken.
1. Strength: Unlike tempered glass, laminated glass is annealed and the interlayer softens the blow of the impact, absorbing energy from a collision and protects occupants by helping to retain them in the vehicle.
2. UV Protection: Depending on the product, laminated glass can prevent more than 99 percent of the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from passing through the glass. Long-haul drivers or operators of farm equipment who spend hours behind the wheel will be exposed to less UV radiation.
3. Safety: Tempered glass shatters into fragments and leaves an opening for the possible ejection of occupants from the vehicle. Laminated glass side windows, windshields and back glass don’t break apart on impact, helping keep operators inside the cab or compartment. If the glass panes do break, the interlayer holds the broken glass together, forming a “spider-web” in the glass, which can significantly minimize the risk of injury and minimize downtime until a repair or replacement is made.
4. Security: Because it does not break apart upon impact, laminated glass affords more resistance from thieves and vandals.
5. Sound Attenuation/Reduction: Operators of heavy machinery and vehicles, like construction equipment, work in harsh environments where noise is a part of the everyday job. Equipment utilizing laminated glass greatly reduces sound levels, because the additional viscous material between the two lites acts as a damper, providing a quieter cab and more comfortable environment.
At Custom Glass Solutions we specialize in laminated glass, whether it’s door glass, back lites, windshields or any other transportation application. We produce small volume hard-to-find glass solutions for your custom requirements or we can equip an entire fleet. With years of experience and more than 500,000 square feet of manufacturing floor space, we have the knowledge and the room to provide the custom laminated glass solutions that work for you. Contact us today.
History of Laminated Glass
It all started with an accident.
In the early twentieth century, manufacturers began putting windshields on automobiles (“horseless carriages,” as they were known at the time) to protect drivers from harsh winds and dust. Despite their good intentions, the glass proved dangerous to the driver and passengers — it shattered very easily. Accidents, rocks, and even tiny debris broke the glass into a million pieces.
In 1903, a French artist and chemist, Édouard Bénédictus, accidentally discovered shatterproof glass when he knocked his glass flask off the table in his laboratory. When it hit the floor, it didn’t break into a million pieces like he was expecting. Instead, it cracked — but kept its form. Puzzled, Bénédictus examined the glass flask, finding that the flask had recently held a solution of cellulose nitrate, a liquid plastic, which had evaporated. Apparently, it deposited a thin coating of plastic on the flask’s interior. It was there by mistake, but this adhesive film coating kept the glass from shattering in the typical fashion: the plastic held the shards in place.
That week, he read a newspaper article about the increasing number of automobile accidents. The number one cause of injury: shattered glass. He wrote in his journal:
“Suddenly there appeared before my eyes an image of the broken flask. I leapt up, dashed to my laboratory, and concentrated on the practical possibilities of my idea…”
In 1909 he received a patent for laminated glass. Automobile manufacturers, believing that safety was primarily the driver’s responsibility, were slow to catch on.
In 1927, after its success in World War I (used as eyepieces in gas masks), laminated glass began to be used in automobile windshields. In World War II, laminated glass was used as the first ballistic glass windows (in troop vehicles and bunkers).
Today, nearly every country requires laminated glass automotive windshields. The strength, security, and safety that Bénédictus discovered in 1903 – via an accident – has likely saved countless lives.