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What are the athermic windscreens exactly?

athermic windscreens

If you have ever felt like your car is an oven after parking it under the sun for a long time, you might want to consider getting an athermic windscreen. In short, an athermic windscreen is a type of car glass that can reduce the heat build-up inside your vehicle and protect you and your passengers from the harmful effects of UV rays. But what exactly is an athermic windscreen, how does it work, and what are its advantages and disadvantages? In this blog post, windscreen services London will answer these questions and more.

What is an athermic windscreen?

There are two types of windshield glass. Tempered glass and laminated glass. Tempered glass is usually used in the side windows and rare windshields while laminated glass is used in the front windscreen. These laminated glasses are made of two layers of glass glued together by a polyvinyl butyral (PVB) plastic layer.

An athermic windscreen is also a subcategory of laminated glass with tiny metal particles such as titanium and silver. The coating of metal particles is applied to the inner layer glass of laminated glass and forms the athermic windscreen. The coating can be either transparent or tinted, depending on the preference and regulations of the manufacturer and the customer. Some athermic windscreens also have an electrical heating element embedded in the glass to help defrost or de-mist the windscreen in cold weather.

These particles reflect much of the sun’s rays, which means less heat enters the passenger compartment. This improves thermal conditions for passengers by lowering the temperature inside the vehicle and reducing the effect of UV rays on the skin and eyes.

These athermic windscreens are also highly resistant to weather conditions and various types of things such as stones, dust, etc. These athermic windscreens give you the best visibility for your driving experience as it reduces glare and prevents fogging.

What is an athermic windscreen?

How does the mechanism of athermic windscreen work?

These types of glasses block some of the infrared and visible light waves and prevent them from entering the cabin. Infrared waves are responsible for heating objects, while visible light waves are responsible for illuminating them. UV rays are harmful to the skin and can cause sunburn, premature aging and skin cancer. IR rays are responsible for most of the heat that enters the car through the windshield. By reflecting some of these waves, an athermic windscreen reduces the amount of heat and light that reaches the passenger compartment.

However, this also means that an athermic windscreen makes it harder for some signals and rays to pass through, such as GPS signals or toll tags. Therefore, an athermic windscreen always has an area of normal glass around the rearview mirror that allows these signals and rays to pass through. This area is usually marked by dotted lines or a thermometer symbol on the windscreen.

How does the mechanism of athermic windscreen work?

How to recognize whether the windscreen is athermic or not?

An athermic windscreen can be recognized by some characteristics and certain signs, which are listed below:

  • A purple, blue, or petrol-blue reflection characteristic of this type of glass.
  •  A thermometer symbol, usually located above the windscreen wiper, in a corner of the windscreen.
  • With dotted lines that allow radio waves and infrared to pass through.
  • A thin wire running along the edge or across the surface of the glass, indicating an electrical heating element.
  • If you are not sure whether your car has an athermic windscreen or not, you can also check your owner’s manual or contact your manufacturer or dealer.

What are the Benefits of Athermic Windscreen?

  • Athermic windscreen has several advantages over conventional glass, such as:
  • It improves driver and passenger comfort by keeping the interior temperature lower and more stable.
  • It reduces the need for air conditioning, which saves fuel and reduces carbon emissions.
  • Protects the dashboard, upholstery, electronics, and other components from fading, cracking, or melting over time due to sun exposure.
  • It improves driver visibility and safety by reducing glare and reflections from the windshield.
  • It prevents some of the harmful UV rays from reaching the skin and eyes of passengers.
  • Protects you from heat buildup inside your car that can cause discomfort, dehydration, fatigue or sunburn.

What are the Drawbacks of an Athermic Windscreen?

  • As mentioned earlier, it can interfere with some electronic devices that rely on radio signals, such as GPS navigation systems, toll tags, cell phones, or remote keys. This is because the metallic coating acts as a shield that blocks or weakens some of these signals.
  • It can be more expensive than conventional glass, depending on the type and quality of the coating and the installation process.
  • It can be more difficult to repair or replace if damaged or cracked. Some types of athermic glass require special tools and techniques to install or remove.

How to Choose the Best Athermic Windscreen for Your Car?

If you are interested in getting an athermic windscreen for your car, you should consider several factors before making a decision. Some of these factors are:

Your budget:

Athermic windscreens vary in price depending on their quality, features, and installation costs. You should compare different options and choose one that fits your budget and expectations.

Your climate:

Athermic windscreens are more suitable for hot and sunny climates where they can provide more benefits in terms of comfort and efficiency. If you live in a cold or cloudy climate, you may not need an athermic windscreen as much.

Your preferences:

Athermic windscreens come in different colors, shades, and designs. You should choose one that matches your car’s style and your personal taste.

Your regulations:

Athermic windscreens may have different legal requirements depending on the country or state where you live. You should check the local laws and regulations before buying or installing an athermic windscreen to avoid any fines or penalties.

Conclusion

An athermic windscreen is a smart and innovative solution that can enhance your driving comfort and safety. It can reduce the heat and light that enter your car, protect you from UV rays, and save you fuel and money. However, it also has some drawbacks that you should consider, such as blocking some signals and rays, interfering with some devices, or costing more than a normal windscreen. By weighing the pros and cons and doing some research, you can find the best athermic windscreen for your car and enjoy its benefits.

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