The windshield or windscreen of an aircraft, automobile, bus, motorcycle, or tram is the front window. Modern windshields are generally made of laminated safety glass, a type of treated glass, which consists of two (typically) curved sheets of glass with a plastic layer laminated between them for safety, and are glued into the window frame.

Motorcycle windshields are often made of high-impact acrylic plastic. As the name implies, their main function is to shield the driver from the wind, though they do not do so as totally as those of a car.


In daily use, windshields mainly protect the vehicle's occupants from wind, temperature extremes, and flying debris such as dust, insects, and rocks, as well as providing an aerodynamically formed window towards the front. UV Coating may be applied to screen out harmful ultraviolet light.


Early windshields were made of ordinary window glass, but that could lead to serious injuries in the event of a crash. They were replaced with windshields made of toughened glass and were fitted in the frame using a rubber or neoprene seal. The hardened glass shattered into many mostly harmless fragments when the windshield broke. These windshields, however, could shatter from a simple stone chip. In 1919, Henry Ford solved the problem of flying debris by using a new technology founded in France called glass laminating. Windshields made using this process were actually two layers of glass with a cellulose inner layer. This inner layer held the glass together when it fractured. Between 1919 and 1929, Ford ordered the use of laminated glass on all of his vehicles. [ [] National Glass Association - "Your Windshield is Not Just a "Wind-Shield" Any More"]

The modern, glued-in glass contribute to the vehicle's rigidity, but the main force in innovating the windshield has historically been the need to prevent injury from sharp glass fragments. Modern windshields, now almost universally required in all nations, do not fragment, but tend to stay in one piece even if broken, except if pierced locally by a strong force. Properly installed automobile windshields are also essential to safety; along with the roof of the car, they provide protection in the case of a roll-over accident in the vehicle.

Other aspects

In many places, laws restrict the use of heavily tinted glass in vehicle windshields; generally, laws specify the maximum level of tint permitted. Some vehicles have noticeably more tint in the uppermost part of the windshield of motor vehicles that blocks glare from the sun.

In aircraft windshields, a current is applied through a conducting layer of tin(IV) oxide to generate heat to prevent icing. A similar system for automobile windshields, introduced on Ford vehicles as "Quickclear" in Europe ("InstaClear" in North America) in the 1980s, uses very thin heating wires or conductive-film layer embedded between the two laminations.

Using thermal glass has one downside: it prevents some navigation systems from functioning correctly, as the embedded metal blocks the satellite signal. This can be resolved by using an external antenna for the navigation system.


The term "windshield" is used generally throughout North America. The term "windscreen" is the usual term in the UK and Australia/New Zealand for all vehicles. In Japanese English, it is called "front glass". In the USA, "windscreen" refers to the mesh or foam screen placed over a microphone to minimize wind noise, while a "windshield" refers to the front window of a car. In the UK, the meaning of these terms is reversed.

Today’s windshields are a safety device just like seat belts and air bags. The installation of the auto glass is done with an automotive grade urethane designed specifically for automobiles. The adhesive creates a molecular bond between the glass and the vehicle. If the adhesive bond fails at any point on the glass it can reduce the effectiveness of the air bag and substantially compromise the structural integrity of the roof. (Raymond Clough)

Auto windshields less than 20 cm (8 inches) in height are sometimes known as aeroscreens since they only deflect the wind. The twin aeroscreen setup (often called Brooklands) was popular among older sports and modern cars in vintage style.

A "wiperless windshield" is a windshield that uses a mechanism other than wipers to remove snow and rain from the windshield. The concept car Acura TL features a wiperless windshield using a series of jet nozzles in the cowl to blow pressurized air onto the windshield.

=Stone chip and crack da

Many types of stone damage can be successfully repaired. Bullseyes, cracks, starbreaks or a combination of all three, can be repaired without removing the glass, eliminating the risk of leaking or bonding problems sometimes associated with replacement.


Windshield repair is a process that combines modern technology and skill to fill a damaged area on a windshield with special clear adhesive resin. The resin is then cured with an ultraviolet light. When done properly, the damaged area’s strength is restored, as is most of the clarity.

When repairing a windshield, it is important to start with a clean work area. Any dust, dirt, or contaminants in or on the glass can result in scarring or trapped particles that will permanently be visible in the final repair. Any moisture can cause future cracks when the glass cools or heats. Many chips in automotive safety glass will never grow but insurance companies in the United States often waive the deductible to ensure they do not have to pay for the replacement of the auto glass.


ee also

* Windshield wiper
* Motorcycle windshield

External links

* [] An online provider of windshield repair information and companies.
* [ Car Windshields] A website devoted to windshields, including markings.
* [ Long crack repair] A video of the crack repair process.
* [] An online provider of windshield repair information.
* [] National Glass Association
* [] Auto Glass Replacement Safety Standards Council
* [] Auto Safety Expert

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • windshield — (ingl.; pronunc. [uínchil]; Guat., Pan., P. Rico) m. Parabrisas …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • windshield — (n.) 1902, from WIND (Cf. wind) (n.1) + SHIELD (Cf. shield) (n.). U.S. alternative to British windscreen (attested from 1905 in this sense) …   Etymology dictionary

  • windshield — ► NOUN N. Amer. ▪ a windscreen …   English terms dictionary

  • windshield — ☆ windshield [wind′shēld΄ ] n. in automobiles, trucks, speedboats, motorcycles, etc., a curved or flat transparent screen, as of glass, in front, that protects the riders from wind, etc …   English World dictionary

  • windshield — The primary piece of glass in front of the driver and front passenger. In some older vehicles, there were two pieces of glass. Both are considered the windshield, left and right side. In Britain, it is called the windscreen. See emergency… …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • windshield — noun A transparent screen made of glass, located at the front of a vehicle in front of its occupants to protect them from the wind and weather. Oh no! A vandal has just come and smashed our windshield! Susan, can you go and call the insurance… …   Wiktionary

  • windshield — noun Windshield is used before these nouns: ↑fluid, ↑wiper Windshield is used after these nouns: ↑automobile …   Collocations dictionary

  • windshield — UK [ˈwɪn(d)ˌʃiːld] / US [ˈwɪn(d)ˌʃɪld] noun [countable] Word forms windshield : singular windshield plural windshields American a windscreen …   English dictionary

  • windshield — [[t]wɪ̱ndʃiːld[/t]] windshields N COUNT The windshield of a car or other vehicle is the glass window at the front through which the driver looks. [AM] (in BRIT, use windscreen) …   English dictionary

  • windshield — noun Date: 1902 a transparent screen (as of glass) in front of the occupants of a vehicle …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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