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Information: Laminated Glass

Older safety windscreens were made of tempered glass which is heat treated so that the surface is very tough. When a vehicle with tempered glass is involved in an accident, the windscreen shatters into a spider web of little crystals. Its adhesive property is greatly diminished so that an object (your body) can easily be ejected through the windscreen.

Laminated (or compound) glass consists of two or more sheets of glass with one or more viscous plastic layers "sandwiched" between the glass panes. The solid joining of the glasses takes place in a pressurised vessel called an autoclave. In the autoclave, under simultaneous heating of the already processed layers of glass and special plastic, lamination occurs. When laminated safety glass breaks, the pieces remain attached to the internal plastic layer and the glass remains transparent.

See also: Toughened Glass

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