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What the Dots on Your Windscreen Edge Mean

What the Dots on Your Windscreen Edge Mean

As I was riding the bus through town recently, I noticed some small dots near the black band that surrounds the glass in the windows. Of course, like most people, I usually put it out of my mind, but I finally decided to find out what they are for. When I got home, I called one of the local glass manufacturers, London Car Windscreen to get the 411. When I got one of the agents on the line, he told me all about the frit.

What Is Frit?

You heard me correctly, those little dots along the edges of car glass are called “frit”. They are made of ceramic paint that is baked onto the glass and literally impossible to remove. There are a few main functions these little dots serve.

To protect the seal: The most important job frit services it to help keep the urethane seal from being damaged by the ultraviolet rays of the sun. The sealant helps to keep the glass in place as well as keep the elements from seeping inside.

Provides friction: The frit on the band is a sort of rough area that gives the car glass glue something to grip. It is also a way to conceal the glue from the visual range once it dries.

Temperature maintenance: Another glass worker at London Car Windscreen told me that another reason the frit is important is to help with temperature distribution. The black bands that have the frit tend to get hotter more quickly than the rest of the windscreen. The thermal gradient helps to keep the temperature of the glass more evenly placed and also to reduce the “lensing” distortion.

Manufactures of car glass previously used gaskets to seal windows and keep passengers safe from the elements. Then, chrome trim would go over that to hold the windscreen in place. Around the mid-’50s, the use of adhesives became commonplace. Once glue became the go-to sealant, frit became the standard for every windscreen.

The Dots

The matrix of dots you usually see on windscreens is there for aesthetic reasons. The patterns offer a pleasing gradient that starts as larger dots and decreases to smaller ones as they go inwards. This offers a smooth transition from the frit to the plain windscreen on the vehicle.

In most cars made in this day and age, you will also find frit just behind the review mirror. These third visor frit help to reduce the sun glare through your windscreen that hits outside of the scope of the driver side and passenger side visors.

What We Learned

So, thanks to helpful information from London Car Windscreen on their handy helpline 0751245 8701, we now know that the purpose of the dots, frit, along the edges of the glass on cars quite important. Not only do they help the glass look better, but they also stop the sun from hitting your eye when you drive and they stop your windscreen from becoming distorted. The more you know!