How Tempered Glass Differs
Exploring glass types is one of the first steps that you take when you plan a window or door repair or installation.
Although there are many types of glass types, colors and styles available today, tempered glass still remains one of the most popular types because of its history of being safer than standard glass.
While standard, or annealed, glass is slowly cooled to complete the manufacturing process, tempered glass is heated to high temperatures and then rapidly cooled down to make it more resistant to damage.
How It's Made
The biggest difference between tempered glass and the standard type is that it is treated with heat or chemicals to make it stronger. During the process of making tempered glass, it is heated to around 1,112 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
After that, the glass is treated with high pressure blasts of cold air that hit the surface from multiple directions. This process cools the outside of the glass faster than the center, which generates tension that gives it strength.
Special chemicals can sometimes be used to create tempered glass; however, the heat treatment process is less expensive. Therefore, most glass that you see has been strengthened using the traditional heating process.
Benefits of Safety Glass
The biggest benefit of tempered safety glass is that it is around 4 times stronger than standard glass.
Although it does tend to be weakest around the edges, it can stand up to events such as being hit by hail or a baseball better than standard glass.
While it does take greater force to break tempered glass than it does for standard, the glass is still capable of breaking. When it does, it breaks into smaller circular, or pebble-like, pieces rather than large and jagged shards.
This reduces the risk of injury and makes it easier to clean up after a break occurs.
Places to Use This Type of Glass
Tempered glass can be used anywhere that standard glass can be installed. However, it is especially used in areas where there is a higher risk of breakage occurring.
Bathrooms are a common place to use tempered glass, and you may install it on shower doors, glass enclosures and other features that are located in wet areas.
Whether you need glass in a residence or commercial building, tempered glass is ideal for reducing the risk of damage from natural forces such as hail or limbs being thrown against a window during a storm.
You may also prefer to use tempered glass for the windows in children’s play areas, especially if they are lower to the ground.
When Tempered Glass is Required
In some cases, you may be required to use tempered glass on a building to keep it up to safety standards.
For example, building codes often require that this glass be used on all doors and glass features that are within two to three feet of a door hinge.
Low windows and glass that runs along a staircase or upper level balcony should also be made from this glass.
The right type of glass for your project depends upon factors such as the feature where it is being installed as well as the location.
When safety is a priority, tempered glass is often one of your best options for adding strength and durability to a glass feature.
Remember to always use a licensed, bonded and insured contractor. Our work and materials are guaranteed.