by Bob Beranek
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Every repairable break is unique, and some repair professionals say a break or chip is like a snowflake. However, windshield breaks share certain characteristics that allow us to put them in generalized categories. These categories are bullseye, half-moon, star, crack and combination. The National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) developed a standard for windshield repair called the Repair of Laminated Automotive Glass Standard (ROLAGS) and had it sponsored by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). It uses the following categories for repairable breaks:

  • Bullseye,
  • Half-moon,
  • Star break,
  • Crack,
    • Short;
    • Long;
    • Edge;
    • Floater;
    • Stress; and
  • Combination break.

The bullseye break is usually the easiest to repair. The outcome is the most pleasing to the customer because it almost completely disappears. However, many techs use the bullseye to demonstrate the repair process because of the ease of repair and pleasing results. This break is usually caused by a dull, slow moving projectile. Dull projectiles cause circular breaks because of the circular “grain” in annealed glass. Only sharp, fast moving projectiles would overcome the circular “grain”, like star breaks or cracks.

A half-moon break is an unfinished bullseye and is caused by an even slower moving dull projectile. Normally half-moons are a little harder to repair because the resin must be forced to the far reaches of the break.

Photo courtesy of mswindshieldrepair.com

One method of speeding up a half-moon repair is a procedure called refracturing. Some use this method because it makes the break bigger. Since a bullseye repairs so well and the end result is almost invisible, the refracturing technique creates a full bullseye from the half-moon. A tech can use a darning needle or pointed pick and place it directly into the pit of the break. Then they can use a weighted device and tap the needle or pick until the half-moon becomes a bullseye.

This same technique can be used on both the star and the crack repairs as well. You create a bullseye at the base of the pit which makes the repair faster and easier.

Star and crack breaks are caused by sharper and faster moving projectiles. These are typically harder to repair because of the break’s narrow “legs”. It also doesn’t appear as transparent as the bullseye or half-moon. When the break is properly repaired the finished “legs” of the break appear as fine “spider web like” lines when viewed head-on.

The last category of break is the combination break, which is usually caused by a large projectile. The windshield can be hit so hard that the cone of the break is pulverized, causing a star break within a bullseye. The finished repair appears to look like a repaired star break since the bullseye disappears, but the star within the break repairs like a typical star break.

Photo courtesy of glassusa.com

Before any repairs are accepted or completed make sure your customer understands the process and what to expect. Refer to the ROLAGS Standard below: https://rolags.com/pdf/ANSI+NWRA+ROLAGS+001-2014.pdf

Next week, on February 13 and 14, the annual Winter Meeting of the Auto Glass Safety Council (AGSC™) and National Windshield Repair Association (NWRA) will occur. At these meetings all of the committees meet and compile the work that was completed during the past year, discuss what needs to be done for this year and plan strategic moves for the future. All attendees are volunteers and spend their own time and money working to better our industry through fresh ideas and hard work. Some times they make history and other times they fall short, but all the time they try.

I have been honored to be a part of this event for the past several years as an attendee, committee member, committee chairman and board member. I know the work that goes into the planning, coordination and execution of this event and hope that all appreciate the effort expended.  However, the things I see missing in all of this effort are the support and contributions from the citizens of our industry.

Hold on. I am not talking about “support” as attendance or “contributions” as financial.  When I talk about “support” I’m suggesting simply saying something good about what was done for the good of the industry through the AGRSS™ Standard, Auto Glass Week™ or ROLAGS™. When I talk about “contributions,” I’m hoping some one will share their knowledge and experience to better the industry instead of anonymously criticizing the industry on the industry forums. If there is one thing that can be said about the National Glass Association, AGSC, Independent Glass Association or NWRA, is that at least they care, at least they are a good industry citizen, and at least they tried to make our jobs easier or better somehow.

I’ve got a great idea and it won’t cost anyone a single penny. The next time you are reading or contributing to glassBYTEs.com or meeting someone for a beer after work, say something good about the industry you belong to instead of complaining. The next time you have a disagreement with an issue or action that the industry took that they thought was in the best interest of everyone, speak up and contribute your ideas and solutions to the problem. Don’t sit back and let it happen. 

I am the chairman of the Standards Committee. I want to hear from you concerning the AGRSS™ Standard, is it good or bad?  Does it need changing? Does it need tweaking?  Does it go too far? Does it go far enough?

I am also a member of the Education Committee which also oversees the AGSC Certification Program. We want to hear your thoughts on certification, continuing education and training.

Most of you know me and how to get a hold of me, but for those that don’t, my number is 800/695-5418, my cell is 608/225-8543 and my email is bob@autoglassconsultants.com. You are also welcome to comment through this blog.

It is not too late to get things on the agenda. Get involved. Be apart of our community of technicians and business owners. Together we can succeed, divided we flounder.