In another blog we talked about the differences between the two types of automotive class, laminated and tempered. But here at Apex Auto Glass and Tinting we service customers that need another type of glass installation. For some classic vehicles, RVs, construction equipment, and other special cases, flat glass installation is required. But what is flat glass?
The history of flat glass
Prior to the 1950s, laminated flat glass was used in all vehicles and it was cut to order for each customer. An auto glass professional would get the vehicle make and model, look up the NAGS (National Auto Glass Specifications), and then cut the glass before the customer had arrived at the shop. At which point they would install the windshield and that was it. Starting in 1950, curved auto glass was introduced and changed the auto industry forever. Glass was no longer being cut to order, instead it had to be ordered precut from the factory. Glass was no longer sold by square footage, but by the list price provided by NAGS. The skill of cutting flat glass has since begun to dwindle down to a lost art.
The term “Flat Glass” incorporates a few different types of glass. Float glass, plate glass, and sheet glass. These different types of glass are all considered flat glass and their different names mainly have to do with the process in which they are made.
Float glass is created by pouring liquid glass over a bed of molten tin and letting it slowly cool, forming a higher quality piece of glass.
Plate glass used to be made in a process where they would grind large “plates” of rough glass until it was clear, nowadays it is mostly created using the float process.
Sheet glass is made using a series of rollers that press the glass into a thin sheet and undergo a cooling process. Sheet glass has been traditionally used because it is a cheaper process than floating, however as a result is often a cheaper quality. Residential windows were commonly made using this type of glass.
Where can I go to have flat glass installed for my vehicle?
For the classic car enthusiast, it can be extremely difficult to find an auto glass shop that still is able to cut flat glass. At Apex Auto Glass and Tinting, we are one of the few glass shops in the central coast that can cut and install flat glass for your classic vehicles.
Located in Santa Maria California, we are your experts for any type of flat glass installation you might need. In addition to classic cars, flat class is often used for construction equipment like a backhoe or crane. If your construction company has equipment that requires flat glass installation, we can come to you and have it done.