Tempered glass is used frequently in a variety of building applications when strength and safety are paramount. Typical applications of tempered glass include windows, balcony railings, patio doors, and sporting arenas.
Did You Know?
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about what happens when a glass pane shatters or cracks. Unfortunately, all types of glass are susceptible to damage from a variety of sources depending on the environment and application. Glass manufacturers account for this risk by processing the glass to make it stronger. Not all glass is processed the same way, and different applications may call for different types of processing.
Tempering is a process similar to annealing in that it uses heat and cooling to create a stronger pane of glass. The difference in tempering is that once the glass is heated to around 600-620 degrees Celsius it is cooled rapidly rather than slowly. This process of heating and rapid cooling changes the molecular structure of the glass and makes tempered glass much stronger and harder than annealed glass, allowing it to stand up better to most impacts without cracking or shattering. The tempering process causes tempered glass to shatter into fine pieces rather than long shards when impacted. These small pieces of glass are lighter and are much less likely to cause injury. This is why tempered glass is sometimes categorized under the umbrella term “safety glass”.