Category: Special Windshield

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What does a Windshield Rain Sensor do ?

Windshield Rain Sensor support field of vision of driver and try to keep it clean while there is rain. It helps driver by automatic rain detection and wiper control. Which ultimately lower drivers load and avoid distraction. Rain Sensor helps to keep your car safe in rain so as the other cars on the road.

Do My Car Windshield Have a Rain Sensor ?

Typically not all cars have a rain sensor. Only certain car segments offer it. You can easily find out simply looking the white transparent / blue mark on your windshield at rear view mirror position. For some models there is a combo Rain-Light Sensor mounted beneath Rear View Mirror in a special bracket.

Windshield Rain Sensor
Windshield Rain Sensor

How Does a Rain Sensor Works ?

A Windshield Rain Sensor works on the principle of total internal reflection. A windshield rain sensor typically have a photo diode which helps to keep track on the amount of light reflected through outer windshield layer back to it. As there are droplets or rain drops on the windshield, amount of light reflected back to it decrease and hence photo diode detect this decrease in light intensity. Which helps it to automatically start the windshield wipers. Most Cars with Rain Sensor have AUTO feature on Wiper Stalk.

Do my windshield rain sensor need replacement ?

Most of the time though your windshield got broken, your rain sensor is ok. Before you decide to change your windshield Rain Sensor you should consult your windshield replacement center or call Auto Glass Masters to know more about windshield replacement faqs. If your windshield got hit directly at the Rain Sensor, you should get it replaced. You should also inspect the condition of Rain Sensor wire. If it is deteriorated you should consider replacing it. But in most of the minor cracks in Windshield, Rain Sensor remains intact and doesn’t  require any replacement.

 

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Car Designers are working hard to make your driving more and more pleasant. In this quest engineers are working hard to keep the noise level minimal in the passenger cabin and make it more sound proof . Through years of testing engineers find that car windshield is a major source of sound transmission inside passenger compartment. It leads engineers to a new innovation in car i.e. Acoustic Windshield.

Source of Noise in a Car

  1. Car Engine
  2. Air Fluctuations on the windshield at high speed.
  3. Air drag at the edges of car and mirrors
  4. External noise due to other vehicles on road

One way to reduce noise level into compartment was to increase windshield thickness. Which ultimately translates into high weight and hence reduced performance and body restructuring. Its not only expensive but also impractical as increasing thickness only reduce marginal noise levels.

How is Acoustic Windshield made ?

Engineers find an innovative way to reduce noise. They sandwich a transparent  acoustic vinyl layer between windshield lamination. This additional Vinyl layer absorbs noise in tune to 2-3 dB. It helps to make inner cabin quiet enough that passenger that allows people to converse without shouting. Additional layer also helps in reducing windshield thickness without negatively affecting noise levels. It also help to shave off Car weight and hence make it more efficient.

acoustic windshield
Acoustic Windshield Layer Diagram

This new Vinyl layer is also applicable in car sidelites that further improves noise level inside car cabin. An additional benefit with this acoustic windshield is that it helps to absorb harmful UV radiation and hence also helpful for health prospective.

If your car have an Acoustic windshield installed, you must got it replaced by an Acoustic one. Tough ordinary windshield cost low on your pocket, it will not be a nice saving. An ordinary windshield will change your cars characteristics and   hence you will feel increased noise levels in your cabin.

You should also look at the windshield monogram / logo during windshield replacement for its technical specifications. Usually an Acoustic windshield logo have “Acoustic” or letter “A” mentioned in it. At Auto Glass Masters the acoustic windshields we use are with PVB Lamination of best quality supplied by OE manufacturers like AIS, Saint Gobain, Pilkington .

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New stylish and more elegant cars are being designed by prominent Car Manufacturers to make their models more and more attractive to International Markets. New Cars have steep and trendy design with large glass surfaces. Though it looks great to have large glass surface in a car, it also cause some serious issues related to car heating and passenger discomfort. Which is neither desired nor acceptable. It leads to new innovation and inventions that leads to Solar Coated windshield.

Problems due to IR and UV rays

While designing a car with large windshield looks great and increase effective visibility for the driver and also passengers, It  also adds its heating area. More the size of Windshield, more it absorb the IR radiations from SUN. These radiations got absorbed by car interiors and they remit IR rays which make inner compartment heated. It requires an adequate air-conditioning system to keep it cool. It adds to your engine load and hence to your fuel consumption. IR heating also creates issues with other delicate digital and electronics systems used in high performance and premium cars. Other issue with IR absorption is that your cars interior fabric deteriorate sooner than its life. It adds to maintenance.

To avoid Drive discomfort and extra maintenance Glass Manufactures designed new innovative windscreens with an additional coating layer under outer glass layer that can absorb additional heat without compromising the car design and visibility. These silver coated windshields are called SOLAR COATED WINDSHIELDS and are widely used in High end and premium cars like Audi A8.

Solar Coated Windshield Layers

solar coated windshield

Solar Coated windshields are like any other laminated windshield but it has multi-layers of IR absorbing material. The coating consists of two layers of silver sandwiched between anti-reflective dielectric metal oxide layers.  Some of the coated windshields like some Renault  models have 15-20 layers of silver and titanium between the inner and outer glass sheets. This special layer is less than 50 microns thick.

How does Solar Coating Works ?

Solar coatings doesn’t absorb all of the sunlight. On the other hand, it absorbs about 50% of IR radiations and UV rays while allow visible sunlight to pass. This helps to keep the inner cabin cooler and adds to driver comfort. These multi layer coatings reduce load on Car air conditioning which ultimately adds to the car performance.

Different Solar Coated Windshield

Solar Windshields are manufactured by all major automotive glass manufactures like Saint-Gobain, Pilkington, Guardian, AGC Automotive. These are produced under different trade names and batches like Solar, Tint, Solar Green, Solex, Solextra, Solar Tint, Solar Shield. These windscreens have characteristic green tint and can absorb IR rays upto 70%. Some of these windshield have grey or bronze tint.

Other kind of Coated windshields are produced by PGW which sell it under Sungate™ trade mark. These have characteristic purple or orange tint as visible in Mercedes S Class and ML Class SUVs. According to PGW, “The Sungate™ windshield incorporates a multi-layer metal/metal oxide coating on the inboard surface of the outer glass”.

Solar windshield

Guardian’s so-called SilverGuard comprises a family of nano-particle thin film coated laminates that provide high levels of solar energy reflection while selectively transmitting visible light. The coatings can be combined with a variety of glass substrates to achieve the full range – from maximum visible transmission and solar reflectivity to privacy-type light transmission combining solar reflectivity with absorbing solutions to achieve very low transmission levels.

Some of the popular models that have IR reflective windshields are Volkswagen Passat Coupe, Audi A6 and A8, BMW X3, X5 and X6, Porsche Cayenne and Panamera, Bentley Flying Spur.