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Windshield Damage #5362890 02/28/20 11:16 PM
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MolaKule Offline OP
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During thunderstorms, hail the size of ping pong balls can damage vehicle sheet metal and windshields, since they have a free-fall velocity of up to 91 feet/second (27.34 m/s).

Two identical windshields of the same material are canted at two different angles; one with a 15 degree slope and the other with a 30 degree slope.

Q1: Which windshield has the greater probability of being damaged and Q2: Why?

This question is open to all.



Last edited by MolaKule; 03/03/20 09:12 PM.

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Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5362902 02/28/20 11:37 PM
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oldhp Offline
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Well, my head says 30° because it's closer to being flat, which would be the perfect 90° for the hail to hit straight on. cheers


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Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5362928 02/29/20 12:08 AM
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Is the vehicle moving, and if so how fast?


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Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5362930 02/29/20 12:13 AM
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15 degree slope will receive less damage.

Why? because of redirection of the energy. assuming the hail is coming strait down at 90 degrees, the momentum of the fall of the ice, is slightly redirected by small angles. The greater the angle the more energy has to be deflected or absorbed by the glass.

Max impact would be sunroof glass, at a 90* angle to the projectile trajectory.

Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5362943 02/29/20 12:52 AM
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14Accent Offline
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Your question is missing too many variables.

What is the relationship between the angle of the incoming hail stone and the windshield? IE, what is the EFFECTIVE angle. If the windshield is placed on level ground and canted at a 15 degree angle relative to the ground, is the hail stone striking the windshield at a perfect 90 degrees from level? I highly doubt it. Wind shear and rotation of the hail stone will greatly vary the results.

You state that the hail stone could have a velocity UP TO 91 MPH. That's fine, but what is the actual speed? This will most certainly change the likelihood of damage to said windshield.

Is the vehicle moving, or stationary? Again, this will affect impact velocity and force.

That being said, I will throw out that a 15 degree slope will likely incur less damage than a 30 degree slope. Why? Not a clue.


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Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5362956 02/29/20 01:21 AM
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Marco620 Offline
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30 degree.Flatter surface to increase impact radius?


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Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5362982 02/29/20 04:23 AM
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I'm just shooting from the hip here because I really don't know.

A1: The 30 degree windshield has a grater probability of being damaged.
A2: Because it is angled more upward toward the "INCOMING"!


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Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5363026 02/29/20 06:33 AM
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I'm going to guess the 30 degree windshield will have a higher chance of being damaged due the higher impact angle


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Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5363080 02/29/20 08:31 AM
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I would say the 15 degree (assuming it's 15 degrees from horizontal) would be more likely to be damaged because the hail will strike directly on the glass, more energy exerted on the glass. The 30 degree (more vertical?) one will receive a more glancing blow, allowing the hailstone to have enough energy to cause a nice hood dent...


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Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5363081 02/29/20 08:31 AM
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Vercingetorix Online Content
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Voting 30 degrees because the closer the angle to vertical the thicker the glass will be to the hail. AKA sloped armour.

Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5363103 02/29/20 08:49 AM
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brages Offline
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When viewed from above, the steeper windshield presents a smaller "target area".

A perfectly vertical windshield would be completely safe from hail, assuming it falls straight down. Even with hail that's not straight down, the same concept applies.

Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5363166 02/29/20 09:52 AM
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Upon reading the question and the answers it appears that there is confusion over which axis the 15º and 30º is taken from.

Are these angles measured up from the X axis or to the left or right from the Y axis?

Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5363173 02/29/20 09:59 AM
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Moving, 30 degreee.

Stationary, 15 degree.

Why? Effective angle of impact closest to 90 degrees.

Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5363212 02/29/20 10:31 AM
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I will go out on a limb and say that both windshield angles have an equal chance of being damaged in a real-life thunderstorm if the vehicle is stationary. This is based upon my (uneducated) suspicion that the angle of the hail impact is random due to factors such as wind speed and direction of the incoming stormfront.

Last edited by Nukeman7; 02/29/20 10:51 AM.
Re: Windshield Damage [Re: MolaKule] #5363334 02/29/20 12:41 PM
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NO2 Offline
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What Nukeman said.

If you hit hail when driving at 70mph , the angle with least damage is going to vary. Small diameter hail falls more slowly than large diameter hail because of different surface area to mass ratios. The difference might be somewhere between 40 mph (small with damage unlikely), and your velocity having a greater effect vs 90mph (large and possibly damaging to the glass and sheet metal).

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