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Those little dots on the window

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Rick told me that the black band around the edge of the glass is called “frit,” a baked-in ceramic paint that’s essentially impossible to scrape off. That frit band along the edge of the glass, he told me, serves three main purposes.

Most importantly, it acts to prevents ultraviolet sun rays from deteriorating the urethane sealant. That matters, because the sealant doesn’t just keep rain out of the car, it actually holds the glass in place. The last thing you want is the sun to cook your adhesive, and send your window flying out the next time you hit a speed bump.

The frit band also acts to provide a rougher surface for that adhesive to stick to, and it’s a visual barrier, preventing people from seeing that nasty glue from outside.

Rick told me that auto manufacturers used to use gaskets to keep windows sealed from the elements, and over top of that gasket, they’d fasten chrome trim to prevent the windshield from rattling out. In the ‘50s and ‘60s, as auto manufacturers began transitioning from metal trim to adhesives to hold the glass in place, a way of protecting the glue and ensuring good adhesion became necessary, and eventually the frit band became standard on essentially all automotive windshields.

“So there you go: the dots on the edges of your windows are there to provide a smooth transition from that crucial solid black frit band in order to prevent distortion and to look more aesthetically pleasing, while the dots behind your rearview mirror keep the sun from your eyes.”


The dots should be hexagonal and closer together. The sun is bright above my mirror.

i would definitely sleep better tonight knowing this :slight_smile:

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To elaborate on that explanation, the SOLID black band is to protect the sealant.

The DOTS serve another purpose, to quote: The pattern simulates a smooth gradient by gradually decreasing the size of the solid black dots as it moves inwards. This provides a more visually pleasing transition from the black frit band to the transparent glass.

And a third purpose is to provide a thermal gradient (more in the link above)

Learning every day… :relaxed:

Learn something new all the time.

I guess people like the way big windows look from the outside, and that black dot stuff hides the fact that they are really little windows on the inside. And big sheets of glass are probably cheaper than smaller sheets of glass with painted steel around the outside edge. I see lots of cars with glass running all the way to the edge of the structural panel underneath, right over 6 inches of steel framework.

Interesting post there Barky, thanks. I thought those dots were just for decoration, used like teenagers use their orange hair, to make the car look different from its competitors and makes the owner feel more individualistic.

AND . . . the dots serve as a more aesthetically pleasing transition from the viewing field to the border , much like a drawing made with ink dots or digital pixilation .

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