Auto glass is produced all around the world by many different companies. In fact, several different companies in North America are working every day to produce safe auto glass for your vehicles.
Where Auto Glass Manufacturing Starts
Automotive glass begins in the float glass manufacturing plant. This is where the raw ingredients, such as silica sand and limestone, are combined and float on a bed of molten tin to create a long ribbon of glass. The glass is called float glass in its raw form. Float glass facilities are unique because they are built to run continuously, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Glass.com breaks down the steps of the windshield manufacturing process
What Are Float Glass and Windshields Made From?
Float glass is used to create laminated glass. Almost all windshields in North America are made out of laminated glass. Laminated windshields are composed of two pieces of float glass with a plastic interlayer between them. Think of a sandwich where glass is the bread and plastic is a slice of bologna. The resulting glass is much stronger than just plain float glass. When laminated glass does break, it breaks into small pieces rather than large shards, making safety in that way too.
Laminated glass is used for most windshields and for some side windows (called sidelites) and back windshields (called backlites). Most other auto glass is made from tempered glass, which is also stronger than float glass but breaks differently than laminated glass.
Some auto glass is fabricated by float glass companies. Other auto glass manufacturers buy float glass and fabricate it into windshields and other auto glass parts. Some companies make auto glass for car manufacturers (called OE glass); others make glass for use only in the aftermarket. Some make both.
How Auto Glass and Windshields are Manufactured
Step 1. Gather raw materials.
Step 2. Melt raw materials.
Step 3. Pour molten glass mixture onto tin bath.
Step 4. Gradually cool glass as it is rolled through annealing lehr.
Step 5. Cut glass.
Step 6. Cut glass to windshield shape.
Step 7. Apply black frit to glass using silkscreen.
Step 8. Mold glass to shape, adding curvature.
Step 9. Add PVB layer to glass and lay 2nd piece of glass on top.
Step 10. Heat the three layers in oven to bond.
Step 11. Wash, label, pack, and ship windshield.
Where is Auto Glass Manufactured?
Companies producing auto glass are located throughout North America. Some of these companies include AGC Glass Company North America, Guardian Industries, PGW Glass Pilkington North America, and Vitro. Their OE operations can be found throughout the country in states such as Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. Some also may have facilities in Canada and Mexico.
Fuyao Glass America, which is owned by a Chinese company, also serves North America and has a number of plant locations in the U.S. You can find them in Michigan, Ohio, South Carolina, and Illinois. Xinyi Glass (XYG) is based in China, where it has seven manufacturing facilities. It has North American operations in Ontario, Canada.
The Mexican company Vitro also has automotive glass production in North America.
Many of these auto glass manufacturing companies also have operations serving other countries around the world.
If you’re now wondering about the glass in your car or truck, take a close look at the windshield, sidelite, or backlite. You’ll find the manufacturer’s logo that may just give you some idea of where your glass was made.
Be sure to visit Glass.com to continue learning more about auto glass, where to find it, and more resources that can help you along the way.
Who Fixes Auto Glass?
Having to fix a crack on your car’s windshield, or replace a side window, can be a headache, so finding a qualified company or technician to fix it shouldn’t be an added hassle.
Where to Start
Auto glass repair and replacement companies employ glass technicians. These technicians should have extensive training in order to properly evaluate each nick, chip, or crack on the glass to advise you on what’s needed: a repair or a replacement.
Know Your Options
There are many companies that fix auto glass a few are large national chains, most are regional or local companies, and, depending on where you are located you could find all three. Glass.com offers a great way to locate quality companies. Simply enter the type of glass you need and the zip code and you’ll see choices from all different types of auto glass installation companies. Most companies let you bring your car to them or are happy to work in your windshield with mobile units that come to you. Either way, repairing or replacing your auto glass should be a little less taxing.
But when it comes to fixing an important part of one of your largest investments, how do you know who’s reputable?
A good sign that a company is qualified to fix your car’s glass is that they’re recognized by the Auto Glass Safety Council(AGSC). On this not-for-profit’s website, you can find a complete list of companies that are registered members of the organization, as well as a list of accredited technicians. Being accredited is not a requirement, but if a technician holds the AGSC certificate, the more qualified they are to repair or replace the damaged glass. The website Glass.com lists quality companies and shows you their accreditations, so you can make an informed decision when choosing an auto glass installation company.
An accredited AGSC technician will have passed an examination consisting of 70 multiple choice questions, with limited time allotted per question. You can find a complete list of accredited technicians on the AGSC website.
We’re doing our best to bring you the most accurate information to help you with your glass repair and replacement needs. Be sure to visit glass.com for more resources along the way.
I’m in the process of looking to procure automotive safety glass for a special vehicle. is it available? the vehicle is a 1932 ford 5 window coupe. where and how would I find automotive safety glass for it? any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
There are relatively few places that custom make safety glass and it is unlikely that there are any in your area. I would suggest reaching out to local shops first though. If that doesn’t produce results, then doing an online search should help you locate someone. If the 5 window coupe is stock, they may be able to produce the glass piece easily. Or if the car has been chopped they may be able to go off of your exact measurements and ship it to a local installer.
Fuyao is not Japanese. They are Chinese.
Source: Fuyao group website and history (note that the language is also Chinese and not Japanese)
Is there any glass manufacturer in the USA that can supply me with a full set of OE or OEM glass for a 1967 SS Chevelle Coupe/2 dr hdtp shipped to Iowa?
If the answer is no, and I am forced to buy repro glass, who has the best classic car glass? and is that glass made in China ,Taiwan or elsewhere?
Randy in Iowa
Pilkington Classics produces OEM quality replacement glass for classic cars and has manufacturing plants throughout North America.
I checked with Pilkington Classics and their side glass is only 3/16″ thick per the salesman. I need glass that is closer to 1/4″ thick or thicker. Can you provide a DOT # of a reputable Chinese glass producer? I have heard that some Chinese glass is very good and some Chinese and Taiwan glass is junk. When I ask suppliers where their glass is produced they get very defensive and tell me to look elsewhere? All I want is a set of repro glass that is made OEM specs and will fit like it should.
The year, make and model of the vehicle you need glass for will help identify what replacement parts are available for it. You can use our Affiliate locator to find a local shop in your area that should be able to find this information using the NAGS database. Sometimes aftermarket is the only option. Other times, OEM and even factory parts are available.
We are building a knight rider replica 1982 trans am, and need a windshield that does not have the blue or green strip at the top. I have emailed and called multiple custom auto glass companies, and to no avail. Please advise!
How can i find the manufacturer of my car s front door glass ? i can see the stamp on it but i cant spot the facory-supplier . Can you help me ?? Thanks in advance !!!
You’ll need to locate the DOT number within the bug. You can find more info in our blog about “bugs”. Then you’ll need to decode the DOT number. AGRR Magazine offers this tool on their website.
Hi, I am a student and working on research project regarding automobile laminated and tempered glass. Can you guide me the composition of materials used in manufacturing tempered glass for vehicles? As i have not yet found anything like complete chemical composition of materials to be used in manufacturing tempered glass…
Thanks in advance…
Tempered glass is different from regular glass due to the tempering process, rather than the chemical composition. Once the glass is manufactured, it undergoes the tempering process where it is heated, then cooled using a technique called “quenching”. The heating and cooling process is what tempers the glass and creates the qualities unique to tempered glass such as increased strength and a unique breaking pattern. As for the chemical makeup of the glass that undergoes the tempering process, the raw materials will be similar to those seen in the How Automotive Glass is Made video. For more specifics, you would need to contact the manufacturer.
i have a 1959 rambler rebel and i cant find a windsheild
Hi! My partner’s family business is Auto Glass as well and I’ve been working with them for 3 months now and got interested about it.
I’m planning to have one soon. Can you give some tips on how to start a business like this? Where do I can get the cheapest but quality wholesale automotive glasses?
Will do some research as well. Anyway, I’m from Philippines! 😊
Thanks for your question! That’s very exciting that you’re considering starting your own auto glass business! glassBYTEs.com’s message forum is a place where you can pick the brains of people that are already in the industry and are running their own companies. This should be a great resource for getting you connected with suppliers.
When you’re ready to start servicing clients, Glass.com can help you get qualified leads from customers in your area looking for immediate auto glass replacement services. To start gaining more customers through Glass.com, you can sign up easily on our Affiliate page. This could be a great opportunity for your partner’s family business too!
I am looking to produce clear glass for filming Tv and Movies through, most glass has tint on it and we want a true clear glass for the cars. Any help or info would be appreciated.
Hi Joe, we’ve sent you an email about your question. Keep an eye out for it!
I have a 1985 Mercury Capri RS Hatchback with T tops NAGS ID D 7160 driver door glass
I can find all kinds of replacements regular and even convertibles but not one for T tops
any suggestions as to where I could order, special order or even have one made ?
Hi Randy, check with https://glass-seekers.com/
WHAT ARE THE SPECKLES I SEE IN MY GLASS ? THEY CAN ONLY BE SEEN WHEN THE SUN IS ABOUT 10 OCLOCK. BOTH MY CARS HAVE THEM AND THEY ARE NEW AND ITS NOT FROM ROAD DAMAGE LIKE EVERYONE TRYS TO TELL ME.IS IT SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE WINDOW TINT ? THANK YOU
BOTH ARE GM PRODUCT AND BOTH FRONT WINDOW FROM THE SAME MANUFACTURE WHICH WONT COMMENT
Thank you for your question. If the vehicles are brand new, then that would rule out road damage unless it was incurred during transport to the dealership, which could be a possibility. Windshields are not tinted from the factory, and there are laws against tinting them (with exceptions for medical conditions), so this can likely be ruled out. It’s possible there is a contaminant on the glass. It could be from a chemical, or it could be organic, such as tree sap. Try super-cleaning the glass inside and out with a high-quality glass cleaner and microfiber towels. You can also use a glass-specific polishing compound or a glass-safe scrubbing pad.
Informative post about windshield replacement