Laminated and high strength automotive glass
Laminated glass is formed by bonding layers of glass either side of a tough plastic film. Unlike tempered glass which will shatter into small crystal-like pieces when broken, broken pieces of laminated glass will generally stay attached to the plastic layer, and the broken window or windscreen will usually stay in place in its opening.
Some of the claimed advantages are that laminated glass:
- reduces noise transfer into the passenger space
- lowers interior temperatures by reflecting infrared radiation
- reduces ultra violet radiation.
Additionally, manufacturers suggest that laminated side glass increases safety by:
- being more resistant to breakage in a crash
- preventing ejection or partial ejection of occupants in a rollover and,
- as the glass remains intact even when broken, the risk of damage to side and curtain airbags is reduced.
Laminated glass also makes the vehicle more resistant to smash and grab attacks with some of the very high strength glass being resistant to all but the most determined attacks.
A down side though is that breaking a window to free a person from a locked or crashed vehicle is a more difficult process.