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Car windshield: how it is produced and what the symbols indicate

by renovicco
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After having seen how much active safety technology there is in a windshield, let’s see how a windshield is produced which, even in its most basic version, must guarantee 34% of the rigidity of the body even from the cheapest city cars. Are all car windshields the same? We now know that since the discovery of laminated glass (see the origins of the first car windshield), the synthetic resin inside it plays a key role when hit by a stone or in the event of an accident, but of how many layers a modern windshield? What are the quality controls what car glass manufacturers do before shipping the crystals to the European Carglass distribution centers? What is the difference between an Original Equipment Manufacturer ( OEM ) windshield and an Original Equipment Equivalent ( OEE ) windshield? And the best thing is get your windshield from wholesale car windshields.


How do you recognize a windshield approved in Europe from one approved in the USA or China ? The production of a quality windshield is as important as the presence of the markings, which are not just the car manufacturer’s logo. Before being marketed, a windshield must be homologated and therefore meet the technical requirements imposed by the directives of each country in which homologation is requested (find out which tests a windshield must pass to obtain homologation). Depending on the country of homologation, the symbol on the windscreen frame changes (you can also find two homologations at the same time if requested in more countries) but the tests it is subjected to are almost the same and only change in some additional assessments. Below we try to clarify the meaning of the most common symbols that can be found on the windshield and windows of the car and understand – for example if you are buying a used car, read how not to get scammed in the Used Car Buying Guide – if that glass has been replaced because the car has suffered an attempted theft or an accident.

The symbols that you might find on the car windows (see attached image) are:

1. The car manufacturer ‘s logo : it is not indicative of quality and safety and may not be there.

2. The logo of the glass manufacturer: unlike the logo of the car manufacturer it is always present on the glass.

3. Tempered : indicates the type of glass produced by heat treatment. It is usually found on the side windows and rear window .

4. Laminated : indicates the type of laminated glass, inside which the PVB sheet is present. It is usually present on the windshield .

5. I, II, III, IV, V, VI : I – reinforced windshield, II – conventional multi-layer windshield (most popular on cars), III – multi-layer windshield which has received further treatment, IV – polycarbonate windshield, V – glass with a light transmission coefficient of less than 70%, VI – glass with a light transmission coefficient of not less than 70%.

6. E ‘x’ : European country that has granted type approval – 1 Germany, 2 France, 3 Italy, 4 Netherlands, 5 Sweden, 6 Belgium, 7 Hungary, 8 Czech Republic, 9 Spain, 10 Yugoslavia, 11 England , 12 Austria, 13 Luxembourg, 14 Switzerland, 16 Norway, 17 Finland, 18 Denmark, 19 Romania, 20 Poland, 21 Portugal, 22 Russia, 23 Greece, 24 Ireland, 25 Croatia, 26 Slovenia, 27 Slovakia, 28 Belarus, 29 Estonia, 31 Bosnia-Herzegovina, 32 Latvia, 37 Turkey, 42 European Economic Community, 43 Japan.

7. ECE R43 : compliance with European safety standards and type approval number.

8. CCC : Compliance with China’s safety standards.

9. M, AS, DOT : Compliance with US safety standards.

10. Production date and identification number : on new cars this usually coincides with the vehicle’s production date and is the same on all windows.

We now know that a windshield with these symbols is of quality even if it does not have the car manufacturer’s logo, but it will become safe only after it has been mounted correctly, as we see it later. But if a faulty windshield escapes the manufacturer’s controls, who prevents it from being accidentally installed on a customer’s car? Find out in Glass quality tests and checks.

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