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Old 21 Oct 2013, 12:46 pm
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Default Why does Cracked Windshield CREEP Longer & Longer?

I had a rock strike the lower passenger side of my car windshield. It started off as a circle, and slowly began to creep to my side.

This doesn't make sense. Shouldn't have stayed a circle? Why the rapid travel to my side of the windshield?

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Old 21 Oct 2013, 01:01 pm
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This is why you fix them as quickly as possible. As you drive, the car's body and therefore the windshield flex slightly. That stresses the crack and expands it.
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Old 21 Oct 2013, 01:16 pm
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Any crack in a windshield that is a circle is already too late. The only thing that has a chance to be caught is a small hit which needs to be repaired before it starts to run.
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Old 21 Oct 2013, 01:31 pm
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The circle is a spall mark -- if you look closer, you'll see it's more like a cone, tapering away from the small crater at the point of impact. A common name for this kind of break is a 'bullseye' (and it sometimes occurs without radiating cracks occurring). These are the 'stone bruises' that commercial epoxy-windshield-repair services can usually fix (as it's comparatively easy to pull a vacuum on the small area of the crack and then feed in material with the same refractive index as glass which then hardens in situ).

The crack growing longer is, as noted, due to stresses in the glass. A kludgey way to 'solve' this problem is to take a small glass drill and relieve the stress raiser at the outward point of the crack, then backfill the small hole with one of the vacuum/refractive resin systems. It is comparatively rare that a long crack, especially one with residual stresses, can be successfully filled end-to-end with resin to make it 'disappear', even after the stress causing the crack to propagate has been somehow relieved.
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Old 21 Oct 2013, 01:47 pm
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Due to body flex
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