Laminated glass is widely used throughout the automotive and architectural industries to keep consumers safe. It’s up to five times stronger than annealed glass and when broken doesn’t shatter into pieces. Here are 7 interesting facts about the glass all around you.
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1. Laminated glass dates back to 1903 in France.
French artist and chemist, Édouard Bénédictus, invented laminated glass in 1903. He successfully patented his new product in 1909.
2. Laminated glass was invented on accident.
As it turns out, it was an accident that led Édouard to his new invention! When he accidentally dropped a beaker that had once held cellulose nitrate and it didn’t break into pieces, he knew he was onto something. The solution had formed a plastic coating over the glass so when it cracked, it didn’t shatter into pieces.
3. Laminated glass was first designed to make cars safer.
Windshields were introduced in the auto industry in 1904, but they provided little protection. In fact, when accidents occurred, it was often the shattered glass that caused the most severe injuries. Early proponents of laminated glass saw great potential to improve auto safety with laminated glass, however, it would take a few years for it to become common place.
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4. In WWI, laminated glass was widely used in military gear.
Laminated glass was widely introduced commercially during World War I. Not only was it safer than annealed glass for its anti-shatter properties, it also served as an early form of bulletproof glass. Laminated glass was widely used in WWI plane windshields and in the goggles of gas masks.
5. Ford was one of the first to widely use laminated glass in the US.
The story goes that Henry Ford decided he needed to make car windshields safer after he and some of his friends were injured by flying glass in accidents. He produced a laminated safety glass and began using it in ford cars in 1919.
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6. Car windshields are required to be made of laminated glass.
Since 1937, laminated safety glass has been a requirement for all vehicles. Since then, advancements in safety glass have continued to drastically improve.
7. Laminated glass is also called “Sandwich Glass”.
Laminated glass as we know it today is sometimes called “sandwich glass” because the safety glazing that keeps it from shattering is sandwiched between two or more plies of glass.
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