What’s better: Triplex or tempered glass for the car

Which glass is better: tempered or triplex.

Automotive glass, like all other assemblies, has evolved with the development of technology. Today, the types of glass used in the front, rear and sides are different, as they are manufactured using different technologies and have different performance characteristics.

The car windshield

We’re talking about two varieties: triplex and tempered glass. Today we will consider how they are made, what are the advantages and disadvantages of both, under what conditions using one type is preferable and vice versa.

How is a triplex made?

Translated from Latin, the word triplex means “triple”. So the name itself says that triplex is produced with the help of multilayered technology, and it is quite complicated. The technical conditions of the multilayer glass production, including triplex, are regulated by GOST 030826-2014. As you can guess from the number designation of the standard, the latest changes were made relatively recently. The standard defines the main characteristics of such products (optical parameters – transparency of distortion, dimensional accuracy, resistance to moisture, UV light, thermal stability, protection class, etc.) and the means of control of these parameters.

The process of manufacturing auto glass of triplex type is multistage:

  • The first stage is the production of glass blanks. They are cut according to the template of special matrixes, after which the blanks are fed into the milling oven for giving the future windshield the necessary geometry. After such processing, the blanks should be free of surface defects, microcracks and visible foreign inclusions. Finished products are subjected to grinding, washing with a special solution and drying. Finally, a special black edge is applied around the perimeter of the glass to prevent it from cracking at the edges;
  • Gluing the sheets by means of a polyvinylbutyral film. At the same stage, in addition to the gluing itself, the autoglass may integrate heating, electronic toning and other modern systems. In some cases instead of PVB for gluing separate glasses into the package a liquid polymer compound, filled in between the blanks, is used;
  • heat treatment. Glass package is loaded into an autoclave, where the product is pressed at a pressure of about 12-13 bars and heated to 150 ° C. The result is a solid, monolithic product, almost ready for use.

Installing new glass

At each of the stages, all the necessary parameters, from the dimensions to the characteristics of the external environment, have to be carefully controlled. Even a slight deviation from the standard requirements of the technological process can lead to a defective product. Since we have to work with very fragile material, manual labor is not welcome – most operations are performed by high-precision robotic equipment, and the process itself is largely automated. All necessary adjustments are made by operators.

The quality of the components, in particular the plastic film, is of great importance. If the material with inappropriate characteristics is used, it can lead to a variety of defects: air voids, delaminations, deterioration of impact resistance, lowering of the protection class.

Varieties of Automotive Laminated Glass

There are three varieties of multi-layer windshields:

  • standard, characterized by a thickness of 6 mm. It is considered the most common, used as a base on most car models. Standard triplex is able to withstand an impact of average strength (a small stone, a bottle and similar objects);
  • protective differs increased to 8-10 millimeters of thickness. Installed in high-end models, including the rear windows as a means of protection against vandals;
  • armored. The thickness of such glass is up to 38 mm, it is characterized by appropriate strength and is able to withstand a pistol bullet after a point-blank shot. However, there are armored auto glass that are not afraid of a bullet fired from a large-caliber weapon, including sniper weapons.
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When choosing a triplex, pay attention to the availability of additional options, if you need them: rain sensor that automatically starts wipers, electric heating, electronic tinting depending on the light and other.

Tempered glass

The main advantage of the laminated glass is that with a strong impact (for example, collision with an obstacle) it does not break into pieces, but is simply covered with a web of cracks. In especially severe cases, it may be deformed while retaining its integrity. The main disadvantage is its high cost. In addition, triplex is easy to scratch, even with an ordinary snow scraper.

Tempered glass production technology

In the second half of XX century, tempered glass was the mainstay in the manufacture of automobiles. After the 2000s, when laminated safety glass became widespread, tempered glass is no longer used as windshields, but on the sides and rear it remains the prevailing type.

The technology of manufacturing tempered glass, or stalinite, is much simpler. It involves heating the product in a special chamber to 650-700 ° C, after which it rapidly cools to 40 ° C – called the hardening, which allows to increase the strength compared to its conventional counterpart by 5 times.

The glass is then put to the test – for example, a soft object weighing about 50 kg is dropped from a height of 1.2 meters onto a 4-mm thick control piece.

Tempered glass can be identified by the inscription Temperlite or Temtered.

The main advantage of such glass is its high mechanical strength: it is not easy to scratch it even with a hard object, an ordinary brush or scraper cannot cause visible damage to such glass.

Unfortunately, high strength properties are leveled by fragility: rolls crumble to pieces, with a strong impact, posing a danger to the driver and passengers. That is why it is not used in front any more.


What is stronger: triplex or tempered glass

As we have already noted, tempered glass is 5-6 times stronger than ordinary glass. As for laminated glass, this indicator may vary within a very wide range – it all depends on the technology used in its production (the quality of the original material, the number of layers and the method of gluing used play a role). So, for the manufacture of laminated glass can be used tempered or ordinary glass. In the latter case, the strength characteristics will be much lower than those of the opponent. And the multilayer packages made of tempered glass are considered to be the strongest.

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However, the differences between triplex and tempered glass in terms of strength are important only in terms of the duration of use.

Which glass is safer

From the point of view of safety for the driver, passengers, and to some extent for pedestrians, the most important characteristic is not the mechanical strength, but the resistance to shock loads, or fragility.

Tempered glass is markedly inferior in this respect.

When a strong impact occurs, toughened glass does not stay intact, but because of the multi-layer structure and the adhesive inner layers, it does not break into pieces, like regular glass. Only deformation of glass is possible, which does not threaten the driver in case of an accident. This is why only triplex has been used as windshields in the automotive industry for two decades.

As for tempered glass, then, upon impact, it breaks with the formation of many small pieces, but these pieces have no sharp edges, so it is almost impossible to cut yourself on such shards. It is estimated that in a strong counter-impact, 10×10 cm. glazing forms about 150-200 shards, which does not exceed the standards for the safety class adopted for automotive glass.

So you can not say for safety, what is better: triplex or tempered glass. In the second case, upon impact, splinters are simply formed, which are not capable of causing a cutting injury, while in the first case, the glass remains intact. In both cases, after such damage, the glass must be replaced.

Tempered or triplex glass. Which is better for the car?

Car glass has come a long way in its evolution. On modern cars, glass on the sides, rear and windshields are different – they are not the same and are made using different technologies. Some are hardened, others are so-called “TRIPLEX”. Both have their pros and cons (in particular, some bad scratches, poor mechanical resistance, in particular from scrapers brushes from the snow, others break to pieces with strong bumps and can hurt you). In general, the article will be a detailed and interesting (from the category of a need to know) + necessarily a video version at the end. So read it and see…

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Tempered or Triplex glass


To be honest, to write this article, I pushed a dispute in one of the forums on automotive topics, which discussed this question – whether or not the brush for snow removal (in particular, a plastic scraper windshield or not.) Someone wrote that this is nonsense and that the windshield is tempered, and that it can not scratch even metal objects, while others wrote that the hardened glass has long been put and now scratches is – “easily and simply”. So where is the truth? That’s why I want to explain everything, what consists of what and where it stands. Well, let’s begin.

What kind of glass is in the car?

As many have correctly said, there are now only two basic types – the hardened and the so-called “TRIPLEX” (about it below). Both are installed in the car, just in different places

Before 2000 – x years (approximately, some manufacturers refused sooner) all the glass in the car were hardened (and the side, and the rear windshield).

After 2000 – x and to our time, side and rear are hardened, but the front is made by technology “TRIPLEX” (sometimes the rear is made by this technology, especially in hatchbacks and elevator cars).

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Now it is almost mandatory! BUT why?

Tempered glass.

As it becomes clear, the glass is heated and then cooled (undergone the process of hardening). And at the same time the crystal lattice changes, and the cloth really becomes very strong.

WE KEEP THIS WAY: the furnaces are heated at 650 – 700 degrees Celsius, then gradually cooled in the air (in water, of course, can not be, otherwise it instantly breaks). After that, the fabric is much stronger.

Tempering process

In Soviet times, they were called “Stalinist” is a direct reference to the name of Stalin. It was in honor of him called a single-layered tempered glass, which has increased strength. But now the name is gradually forgotten.

This glass has a lot of advantages: it is relatively strong, resists mechanical damage (even it is difficult to scratch it with a metal, not to mention scrapers and wiper blades).

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So why was it used to be put everywhere, but now it’s not?

There is one and very essential minus – in spite of all durability, the “maple” crumbles to small pieces at hard knocks. If on a side and behind it practically it is not important. But from the front part of the car (if a stone flew down or a blow happened), all these splinters can fly to the face of a driver and a passenger (and then it is not far from an accident).

That is why it has been removed from production, and other technologies have taken its place.


It is Latin for “triplex” – triple. And in our glass we use three main layers:

  • The upper and lower are two mineral or silicate glasses.
  • And between them, the intermediate layer is a polymer film with a special adhesive

In fact, the top and they are simply glued together on this film.


But why? It’s quite simple. TRIPLEX is also quite a strong structure, but its strength is different.

PLUSES: When hard knocks, it does not crumble into small pieces like its opponent, it just cracks or crumples. Pieces of the damaged surface, it just sticks to the film and does not crumble. Yes, you can jump on it, it will be covered with a lot of cracking. But it won’t crumble.

That’s why it’s used in the windshields of modern cars! Exactly because of safety. Many of us can drive with cracks for months, if not years.

MINUSES: They are not very resistant to mechanical damage, and are quite easily scratched even with a plastic windshield brush scraper. They are also more expensive to manufacture because of the complicated design

Windshield Scraper vs.

Now I want to answer a lot of people – does the windshield get scratched or not? CONVENIENTLY, YES! It’s just that TRIPLEX, is not able to withstand mechanical abuse.

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For example :

  • If you don’t change your windshield wipers for a long time, they start to scratch the surface and leave scuff arcs
  • So do windshield wipers. When you rub with fondness, you can also get “fine scratches” on the surface

A little more about scraper and windshield: – First, the scrapers themselves can be made of hard plastic (you know, so hard as a glass cutter, I advise to take soft – type SOFT TOUCH plastic, they cost more, but they save your surface).

Not too much scratching

Secondly, you can’t have perfect glass, especially if you had mud on the street yesterday and today it’s frozen, and there’s a layer on your windshield. You start rubbing and there is a lot of sand and other abrasive on the sides, when you press it all down on the windshield with a squeegee – works like a glass cutter.


As a result, after three to five years, just a bunch of small scuffs (scratches) start to appear on the glass. And sometimes they are so strong that when they hit the light from oncoming cars, there are halos (which really reduces visibility).

Now the video version is watching.

As you can see, all laid out in simple words for you. I end here, Sincerely YOUR AUTOBLOGER

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