How Much Force to Break a Windshield?
How much force is enough to break a windshield? A typical human-automobile collision is not sufficiently forceful to crack or shatter a windshield, but there are cases in which the amount of force required is high enough to do so. While a 200lb person would need to accelerate at about 21m/s2 in order to smash the windshield, a 4.5kg person would need a force of 444m/s2, or 45G, to cause the glass to shatter.
Some people believe that a spark plug can break a windshield. If the spark plug isn’t working properly or isn’t maintained properly, it is more likely to cause damage to the windshield. The type of glass that damages a windshield is dependent on its strength and size. A spark plug is a pointed object that can be found under a car’s hood.
While most of the time, a spark plug can break a car window, the glass that breaks a car window is made of tempered glass. A windshield can also be broken by sharp metal, stone, or porcelain. To test the effectiveness of a spark plug as a window-breaking tool, remove it from the hood of your car. The ceramic part of a spark plug can then be thrown at glass.
One of the most famous videos on YouTube is the Jolly Rancher experiment. This experiment has been repeated many times and the results are always disappointing. A Jolly Rancher isn’t enough to crack a windshield. Extreme cold makes it even more difficult, regardless of the force. Extreme cold makes it more difficult to handle and makes it even harder to remove snow and ice from a windshield.
In addition to being significantly stronger than other types of glass, windshields are also made of laminated glass. This type of glass contains a thin layer of plastic between two layers of glass. The plastic layer makes it harder to break, and shards of glass are stuck to the PVB instead of falling out, minimizing the likelihood of injury. Laminate glass is used in many windows and doors.
While small cracks are not a cause for alarm, they can worsen if not treated quickly. Avoid driving over bumpy roads, sudden brakes, and jerky movements. These factors increase the likelihood of a windshield crack growing and getting larger. If not treated promptly, a small crack may become a large crack.
While windshield cracks typically begin as small chips, if the damage is limited to a couple of inches, it can be repaired. Cracks that exceed six inches in size will need to be replaced. Another common form of damage to a windshield is rock chipping. These can be caused by a collision with a rock or debris from another vehicle. In extreme cases, a chip may develop into multiple cracks or even separate cracks.