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Car Windows
Strictly speaking the words “car windows” should mean only the gaps left by lowered sheets of glass in doors on the sides of cars. Why? Because the word “window” is the English version of the ancient Scandinavian words “windowe” and “vindauge” meaning “wind’s eye”.
In Northern Europe windows were gaps in walls of houses. They had no glass in them. Such a gap could be closed with an animal skin, just like the skin of an eyelid closes an eye. Raising or lowering the animal skin allowed wind as well as light to enter the house.
It follows that a fixed sheet of glass such as a front or a rear windscreen which allows light but not wind to enter a car should not by association be termed a “wind’s eye” or window. Nevertheless, in this article the words “car window” will signify any one of all the sheets of glass which surround occupants of a car.
Any car window has to have parallel surfaces wherever the occupant of the car looks out at surroundings. If the surfaces were not parallel, objects in the surroundings would seem to be distorted and displaced from their true positions.
The clarity of what an observer sees through a car window depends on the relative brightness (intensity) of the light on opposite sides of the car window. Suppose we have two observers: observer A inside a car and observer B outside. Consider an extreme case: the interior of a car brightly illuminated by its overhead interior light when the car is stationary at night on a dark road away from street lights. Observer B outside can clearly see observer A inside. Observer A however, cannot see observer B but sees himself reflected on the car windows as if these were mirrors.
Car window glass which is tinted utilizes the visual effects caused by differences in the brightness of light in opposite sides of the window glass. For a car with tinted glass and with the interior roof-light switched off, the brightness of the surroundings of the car is greater than the brightness inside. Occupants of the car can clearly see through the car windows. However, to persons outside, the car windows are black and seem to be mirrors.
Darkly tinted car windows serve to conceal the activities or even the presence of occupants. In my view, any kind of public concealment as a permanent policy leads, in general, to evil consequences.
Tinted car windows are preferred by any would-be lover with dubious intentions, by criminals waiting for potential victims, by drivers watching for police cars and prepared for quick getaways after their passenger accomplices have completed housebreaking crimes nearby, by men fond of assaulting their wives and children, by personalities such as politicians wishing to travel incognito at State expense.
There are, of course, positive consequences of installing tinted car windows. Much less ultra-violet (UV) passes through tinted car windows. Upholstery fades much less rapidly when car windows are tinted. Tinted car windows also reduce glare, whether from sunlight by day or from car headlights at night.
An air conditioner uses less power to cool a car when the car’s windows are tinted because the sun warms the car less.
The passenger compartment of a car is essentially a steel box with car window glass around its upper circumference. Any suddenly applied force which will bend the steel part of the box will break up ordinary glass sheets in car windows into potentially lethal shards.
Various ingenious modifications have been made to strengthen car window glass so that it is less likely to break, and, if it does break, the pieces will not be shards. One form of such “safety glass” consists of two sheets of glass between which is sandwiched a thin sheet of transparent plastic. If on impact the glass of the car window cracks, the glass remains struck to the plastic instead of shattering into flying shards.
Another form of safety glass used in cars consists of a single layer of toughened glass. To make toughened glass a heated glass sheet of ordinary glass is rapidly cooled on both sides by streams of cold air. The resulting safety glass, when it shatters, forms rounded lumps without sharp points.
Car windows made of toughened glass are much stronger than windows made of other kinds of glass. Toughened car windows help support the steel in the passenger box so that the box is less likely to be deformed in car accidents.
A disadvantage of toughened car windows in the sides of cars is not that a sharp tap with a spark-plug will shatter such a car window into tiny, harmless pieces, but that that the opening so created enables a “smash and grab” criminal to grab from seats items such as handbags and lap-top computers. This kind of robbery is very common in South-African cities in traffic jams and at street intersections controlled by traffic lights. One way to prevent such an attack from being successful for the smash-and-grab criminal is to coat toughened car windows with a layer of special security film.
The shattered pieces of car window glass remain stuck to the film. The car window may be bent inwards but will not collapse.
We, at West Rand Auto Glass, have in-depth knowledge and can therefore give the best answers to all your car window questions.
See also:
  1. Windscreens
  2. Windscreen distributors
  3. Auto glass
  4. Windscreen Prices
  5. Car Glass    



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