Glass has always been a popular choice in modern architecture and also makes for a great material of choice for automobiles, house panes, and workplace interiors and exteriors. Needless to say, almost every industry has benefited from glass products on account of its visual appeal, versatility, durability and style. Thanks to some modern advancements made over the last few decades, glass doesn’t just look visually and aesthetically pleasing but also ensures safety and privacy at the same time. Products such as toughened glass, tempered glass, and laminated glass comprise of unbreakable properties while seamlessly blending both functionality and aesthetics and thereby have helped to make glass more adaptable and safe for all consumers. qualify as “safety glazing materials” meaning they comply with the current safety glazing codes, so they can be used indoors, in sidelites, railings and other locations which may be deemed hazardous. But tempered glass and laminated glass each have distinct and different advantages.Toughened, tempered and laminated glass is, of course, forms of “safety” glass So what is the difference between the three? Let us take a look.
What is Toughened Glass
Toughened glass is glass that has been heated to very high temperatures, then cooled quickly and is up to five times stronger than ordinary glass. This process makes it tougher which means that it has to be hit much harder in order to break and is up to 400% or 500% more resistant to heat and shock than standard ordinary glass. When it does break, this glass shatters into lots of small pieces which are far less dangerous thus making toughened glass an erstwhile choice for architectural glass doors and tables, safety glasses, automobiles, bus terminals, office partitions etc. or wherever human safety is an issue. Toughened glass is, more often than not, used for private or public commercial buildings and offices where the footfall is high and where safety is of utmost priority.
Pros of Toughened Glass
- Offers the ultimate safety coverage. If broken, it will shatter into small pieces without sharp edges and crumble leaving no shards or splinters which facilitate for easier cleanup.
- Toughened glass is physically and thermally stronger than standard glass and is popular for its safety, strength and thermal resistance.
- As it’s a lot tougher to break, potential replacement costs are also likely to be greatly reduced.
What is Laminated Glass
Laminated glass is basically a glass sandwich. It is made of two or more plies of glass with a vinyl interlayer between (sandwiched, if you will, as in a car’s windshield). The glass will tend to stay together and case one in is broken – thus qualifying as a safety glazing material.
The other key advantage to laminated glass is that it blocks 99 percent of the UV-light transmission, has sound reduction properties, it can be cut and its edges can be polished after laminating, and lead times are generally faster because most glass shops stock laminated glass. Certain thicker, multilayered forms of laminated glass can even qualify as burglar- and bullet-resistant glass.
Because laminated glass holds up to impact better than other types of glass, this is what is used in modern windshields. The sandwiched interlayer gives the glass structural integrity and keeps it from shattering apart like tempered glass might. This is key for effective airbag deployment and helping to keep occupants inside the vehicle in the event of a crash.
Laminated glass is produced by bonding two or more sheets of glass, sandwiched between a plastic interlayer PVB (“Polyvinyl Butyral”) or resin, which not only provides insulation but also prevents the glass from fragmenting when broken. In the event of glass breakage, it is held in place by the interlayer and produces a characteristic “spider web” cracking pattern which keeps the layers of glass bonded. Furthermore, owing to its high strength, it prevents the glass from shattering into sharp dangerous pieces. It’s the same glass you find in car windscreens, building facades and shop fronts or places where there is a higher possibility of human impact such an office sliding door, walk on floors, shower cubicles etc.
Pros of Laminated Glass
- Laminated glass is often used for sound insulation because it dampens sound transmission.
- Can withstand drastic changes in temperatures.
- Tends to crack rather than smash thus providing all-around safety in a domestic or commercial environment.
- Laminated glass can act as a protective barrier against weather elements such as wind and rain.
What is Tempered Glass
Tempered glass is made by heating and cooling a piece of standard glass in a tempering furnace. The glass, which must be pre-cut and edged before being put into the tempering furnace, is heated to approximately 1200°F and then cooled rapidly. This process is also known as quenching. The quenching process leaves the glass hardened so that it is now approximately 4 to 5 times stronger, and therefore more resistant to breakage, then it was before the tempering process. If it does break, tempered glass shatters in small pieces that are less likely to cause injury or damage than non-tempered glass.
Tempered Glass and Toughened Glass are practically the same and the terms are used interchangeably. Extremely durable and often used for its safety features, Tempered glass is also made through a special process and is treated with heat or chemicals to increase its strength. A high impact resistant glass, Tempered glass can be up to ten times stronger than regular glass and is widely used in many homes and commercial building projects.
Pros of Tempered glass
- Tempered glass is perfect for protecting you and your family from potential hazards as it not only absorbs impact but reduces chances of any injury by shattering into small pieces.
- In the case of breakage, all one needs to do is simply sweep up the glass instead of having to carefully pick up sharp pieces.
- Tempered glass proves to be significantly cheaper compared to laminated glass.