Considering the rampant incidents of spontaneous sunroof breakages from around the world. It would be beneficial for consumers to understand the possible causes and if there are any preventative measures.
A sunroof is moulded from tempered glass – glass that has undergone rigorous treatment and preparation. First it is cut to the desired size, fed through a tempering oven at 620°C +, next it is ‘quenched’ or rapidly cooled by high-pressure blasts of cold-air – causing the outer-surface to cool quicker than the middle-layer of the glass. Thereby, changing the glass’s molecular-complexity: molecules in the centre of the glass are pulled into tension by the retreating ultra-compressed molecules at the edge of the glass – albeit the edges are the weakest point of the glass or sunroof. Imagine four people each holding a corner of a square blanket playing a serious game of tug-of-war, all pulling with equal force but eliminate one person from the game and the blanket collapses. Besides sunroofs, tempered glass is used in a variety of industries and household applications – all plagued by random incidents of spontaneous exploding glass-panes. Experts outside the automotive industry claim that spontaneously exploding glass is caused by the oxidative-stress of metal impurities in the glass, the rigors of oscillating extreme temperatures and the tiniest of abnormalities in the manufacturing process. Thus, laminated glass, like a car windshield, is by far a much safer and more reliable option. Laminated glass is two glass-panes bonded together by an interlayer of thermoplastic-polyurethane, the benefits include enhanced sound-insulation, uv-ray resistant, as well as superior strength and protection.
Therefore, if you are considering having a sunroof installed or ticking the sunroof option box for your next vehicle purchase – spend a bit of extra money and opt for laminated glass instead. Otherwise, if you have an existing sunroof, schedule your vehicle for a quality inspection while the simple application of an ISO approved film laminated to both the exterior and interior-side of the sunroof. Most importantly, find-out if your vehicle warranty or car insurance covers unprovoked disintegration of your car’s sunroof?
Written by Dean Joseph