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Windshield and windscreen are respectively the American and British terms for the curved expanses of glass in front of and (usually) behind the occupants of a car. In this article the term windshield will be used throughout.
In modern cars front windshields must satisfy two main criteria: Firstly a windshield must enable a driver to have a clear undistracted view of the road and approaches ahead. Hence windshields have to be relatively thin, since thick glass would distort a driver’s view. Again to avoid distortion, the two surfaces of the windshield must be perfectly smooth and parallel with each other. The manufacturer of thin, smooth and parallel-surfaced glass for front windshields is outlined under the heading on the Glasscare website.
The second requirement for modern car windshields is that, under any and all circumstances the windshield must never become shards of lethal flying glass. Safety glass meets this requirement.
There are two basic varieties of safety glass which have been used in manufacturing the windshields. The one variety, called toughened glass in South-Africa is glass toughened in a special process to be about six times stronger than ordinary window glass of the same description of thickness.
The process, by which toughened glass is made, can be viewed under the heading toughened glass elsewhere in the Glasscare website. If a sheet of toughened glass breaks, it crumbles into hundreds of roughly cubic bits of area one square centimeter or less. These bits do not, as a rule, have sharp edges. Such small bits of glass, even at speed, are unlikely to be lethal to a cars occupant. 
Nevertheless, toughened glass is not used to make windshields. This is ironically because of the strength of toughened glass. A windshield of toughened glass is much stronger than a person’s skull. In serious car accidents the collision of a person’s head with a windshield of toughened glass can be fatal. Nowadays, while not used to make front windshields, toughened glass is used almost universally for side windows and glass panels and for rear windshields.
See also:
  1. Commercial glass
  2. Windscreen distributors
  3. Window glass
  4. Glass repairs
  5. Glass

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