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Name: Steve M.
Status: Educator
Age: 40s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: February 2004

We are investigating the effects of heat and cold temperatures on windshield glass. Any suggestions where to find out what causes cracks to form and expand in different temperatures?

This is a difficult experimental investigation because "Detroit" sees to it that it occurs as infrequently as possible for obvious reasons, so you do not have a large sample size to start with. Underlying all windshield failures is the formation of stresses in the glass. These can often be detected by viewing the glass between two polarizers (available at science supply sources). The presence of stresses does not predict failure, but failure is usually preceded by stresses set up in the windshield glass.

Vince Calder

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