The Underestimated Importance of Windshield Replacement
Windshield Replacement…for most automobile owners, changing oil and doing routine maintenance checks are important aspects of keeping the vehicle healthy. When the car manifests signs of problems, the driver would usually make sure it is corrected immediately to avoid more costly repairs later. But one thing most car owners neglect, but should not, is the windshield. Its importance cannot be understated. As with any car problems, windshield damage should be repaired immediately.
Many people doubt the value of a chip repair. Paying fifty bucks for a chip repair that is barely the size of a nickel seems unreasonable. However, most do not realize that the windshield is very fragile to internal stress. It may look impenetrable, but when subjected to road and temperature stress, the chip can easily become a crack.
As with all things, let’s begin with the basics.
Windshield glass is a type of laminated glass. It consists of two layers of special composite glass with a laminate in between the layers. The laminate usually is made from a form of vinyl plastic, which is in simple terms, a very strong plastic. The laminate acts as a sticking board for the inner and outer layer of glass, which serves to hold both layers together and provides a surface in the event of shattering for glass fragments to adhere to.
A black frame, referred as the ‘frit’, lines the outer edges of the windshield, commonly 2-3 inches wide and even wider on top. The frit protects the urethane molding (generally speaking, glue that bonds windshield to car) of the windshield from the sun’s ultraviolet rays. Without the frit, the urethane would melt and cease to hold the windshield to the body frame. This is what happens with rear-view mirrors that are incorrectly installed; they fall off the windshield after the adhesives melt in the sun’s heat.
Functions of Your Windshield
Windshields play essential roles in vehicle safety. First, and the most apparent function of the windshield is keeping wind and debris from smacking you in the face. As well as providing a clear perspective of road conditions. The next two functions are safety-related. In a frontal collision, two safety features of the car minimize damage to the driver and passenger. One is the SRS Airbag. In order for the airbag to deploy properly, the windshield needs to be in place. It stops the airbag from deploying upwards and redirects the direction of inflation toward the driver. In a rollover, windshield serves dual purposes to prevent the roof of the car from collapsing and the passenger from having any body parts hanging outside the car. This issue is more pertinent with side windows, where loose body parts will dramatically increase fatality rates.
An improperly installed or cracked windshield will jeopardize your safety. One, the windshield may crack up and eventually lose integrity and shatter. Two, during an accident, the windshield will fly apart on airbag deployment with shards of glass spewing all over the place. And the airbag will be less effective. Third, on a rollover, compression stress will first stretch the crack from end to end and then finally break the windshield. Flying glass shards are very sharp and dangerous.
Stresses the Windshield Endures
Whether your car is parked, speeding on the freeway or crawling in the morning rush hour, your windshield endures many abuses. Temperature changes, road vibrations and aggressive car door slams, and road debris are some of a few dangers posed to your car’s windshield. In addition to temperature stress, the constant pulling and pushing of the windshield from the body frame absorbing road impact. The highest stress occurs around the edges and lessens gradually approaching the center point of the windshield.
Now imagine a rock hits your windshield. Usually a windshield can distribute temperature and vibration stresses with relative ease. However, tension would accumulate along the edge of the crack until it travels down to the border of intact and separated glass. The extra tension causes the borderline intact glass to separate, since it is the next weakest point. It would then continue until something is done about it.
Stress gradients are related directly to the likelihood of a chip or crack developing further. A stone break in a high stress area, like at the sides of a windshield, is more likely to evolve into a crack. Cracks that start from the edges usually travel to the center of less stress, just like water flows from high pressure to low pressure. Depending on forces the car body exerts on the windshield, the crack may actually travel in different directions.
Value Windshield Chip Repair Services…Call Low Price Auto Glass Hammond!
After you read this article, we hope that you have a deeper appreciation of the value of the windshield chip and crack repair that our service sector provides to you. By repairing stone breaks and cracks when repairable, we save you time and money. We understand that is it not every day that your windshield gets cracked or damaged and that it doesn’t always fit in the schedule. This is exactly why we strive to make the process as easy as possible for our customers, by getting them the best price possible with the highest quality materials available.
So give us a call today!
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