What Is A Tempered Glass?
What Is A Tempered Glass?
Tempered glass, also known as toughened glass, is a type of safety glass that has been treated to increase its strength compared to regular glass.
The treatment process puts the outer surfaces of the glass in compression and the inner surfaces in tension, which causes the glass to shatter into small granular pieces instead of sharp shards when it breaks. This makes it less likely to cause injury.
It’s used in a wide range of applications, such as car windows, shower doors, aquariums, architectural glass doors and tables, refrigerator trays, mobile phone screen protectors, bulletproof glass, diving masks, and cookware.
Properties Of Tempered Glass
Tempered glass is stronger than annealed glass because it has compressive stresses on the surface and tensile stresses in the body of the glass. This is achieved by heating and cooling the glass during manufacturing.
Safety glass, which is required in certain applications, has a surface compressive stress of at least 100 megapascals. When tempered glass breaks, it shatters into small rounded pieces rather than sharp shards.
This is because the compressive stresses on the surface prevent cracks from propagating or expanding. Annealed glass, on the other hand, is fragile and breaks into irregular and sharp pieces.
It is important to note that any cutting or grinding must be done before tempering, as it will cause the glass to fracture if done after. The internal stresses in tempered glass can be observed using an optical polarizer.
Benefits Of Tempered Glass
Tempered glass is a type of safety glass that is used in situations where strength, thermal resistance, and safety are important factors.
This type of glass is commonly used in passenger vehicles, as the constant exposure to heat and cold, as well as potential impacts from road debris and accidents, require a durable and safe material.
In the case of a vehicle, if tempered glass breaks, it will shatter into small, blunt pieces rather than large, sharp shards, making it safer for passengers.
Other common applications for tempered glass include balcony doors, athletic facilities, swimming pools, façades, shower doors, exhibition areas, and computer cases. Mobile phone screen protectors also use tempered glass.
How Is Tempered Glass Made?
Tempered glass is made by heating and then rapidly cooling annealed glass to create tension and compression, making it stronger and causing it to shatter into small less dangerous pieces.
The process begins with annealed glass that is cut to the desired size and shape. It is then heated in a tempering oven to over 1000 degrees Fahrenheit and cooled quickly on the exterior with high-pressure air.
The interior cools slower, pulling on the outer layers creating tension and compression that increases the strength of the glass. However, this also causes the tempered glass to shatter into small rounded pieces when broken, making it impossible to cut or snap.
How Is Tempered Glass Used?
Tempered glass is commonly used in a variety of applications where safety and strength are important factors. It is often utilized in large sheets of glass that can break and cause injury as well as in situations where the glass needs to be able to resist impacts and high heat.
Some examples of where tempered glass is commonly used include in hand-held electronic devices such as tablets and smartphones in cars for side and rear windows, in windows and skylights on tall buildings and in glass doors for shower and tub enclosures.
The unique properties of tempered glass make it a safer option as it is designed to shatter into small pieces upon impact reducing the risk of serious injury.
Advantages Of Tempered Glass
Tempered glass is significantly stronger than conventional glass due to the opposing forces generated during the tempering process.
It is able to withstand impacts and weight better than float or plate glass. To enhance its strength even further, manufacturers often laminate multiple layers of tempered glass together with a film in between.
An added safety benefit of tempered glass is that when it breaks, it shatters into small pieces rather than large, dangerous shards, reducing the risk of serious injury.
Disadvantages Of Tempered Glass
Tempered glass has the disadvantage of shattering easily upon impact, making it unable to be cut or drilled without breaking. It also requires extra care during handling and installation, as any slight impact on the edges can cause the entire sheet to shatter.
Additionally, tempered glass is not customizable after manufacturing and any modifications or adjustments must be done prior to tempering, making on-site adjustments difficult for installers.
Installing Tempered Glass
Tempered glass installation is a fairly straightforward process that can be completed with the right tools and materials. Firstly, you’ll need to make sure you measure your space accurately for the tempered glass panel so that it fits perfectly.
Then, clean the area where the panel will be installed to ensure optimal adhesion. Apply adhesive to both parts of the panel installation and allow time for it to set.
Once secure, check if caulking is needed to seal any gaps around your window frame and apply as necessary. Finally, enjoy your beautiful new tempered glass!