What Are Those Tiny Dots on the Windshield?

Those tiny black dots on vehicle windshields represent more than just a decorative flourish.

The dots, called frits, “actually help distribute temperature evenly to lessen optical distortion or lensing,” according to Autoglaze.

“This happens when the frit band (the solid black one) heats up much faster than the windshield’s glass, creating an optical distortion that makes either straight lines look curved or bowed inwards toward the center,” the company says.

The gradually sinking black dots help lessen this phenomenon by dissipating and spreading the heat evenly.

Frits also serve as a contact point between the glass and the car frame, creating “etches” on the surface, making them rougher so the adhesive can stick better to the glass.

They help preserve the urethane sealant to bond the glass to the frame.

Frits use the black enamel outside the windshield to block the sun’s ultraviolet rays from melting the adhesive underneath the band, keeping the windshield firmly glued in place.

Frits are also there for aesthetic purposes. If you look closely, the contrast between the dark band and the transparent glass can look too obvious, even when viewed from afar. Creating a halftone pattern or “dot-matrix” allows a gradual decrease in size, making the transition much more subtle and easier on the eyes.

Frits have slowly evolved over the years. Modern cars now add “third visor frits” behind the rear-view mirror to block the sun between two sun visors.

Read more here.

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