The world of architecture and interior designing is no stranger to glass as a building material. Glass is the front-runner in many designer’s books. It is not just for the striking appearance that glass renders to a space that makes it a cherished material, but the connection it establishes with the outdoors and the natural light it filters in.
The native identity of glass has been one of being fragile and delicate. And even over decades of technological advancements, the misconceptions still prevail. People continue to remain misinformed and ignorant of the fact that modern-day glass is anything but fragile. Despite retaining the delicacy of regular glass in looks, the character of modern-day glass is that of strength and extreme durability capable of withstanding heavy external impacts. Toughened glass, or tempered glass, or safety glass is one such member of the glass family known to be robust and sturdy.
Properties of Toughened Glass
The following are the characteristics toughened glass is known for –
Resistance to Thermal Breakage
The heat from sunlight can make glass expand and contract at inconsistent rates. This creates stress in the glass and can lead to breakage. But you can prevent the risk of thermal damage by using toughened glass. Toughened glass also has an excellent heat-withstanding capacity.
Toughened glass is physically as well as thermally solid, and research shows that it can withstand surface compression of at least 10,000lbs per square inch, which is why toughened glass is considered to be safety glass. They are also known to be four to five times stronger than annealed glass and three times more potent than heat-strengthened glass. As these glasses are robust, they reduce the risk of damage if they come in contact with a calamity or disaster.
Toughened glass is manufactured when regular glass is exposed to extreme heat and then cooled rapidly. Due to this excessive heating and cooling process, the chemical composition of the glass goes through an alteration making it more resilient.
If the toughened glass comes in contact with some harsh impact, instead of breaking into sharp, jagged shards, it breaks into harmless circular chunks. Thus, these glasses reduce the risk of injury. If toughened glass breaks, it is also more comfortable for you to clean them than the jagged shards of glass. The small chunks can easily be swept up by a broom and then thrown in the garbage without the fear of any jagged shards hurting anyone.
Toughened glass is a highly flexible and versatile material, which means that you can use it per your needs and requirements. Tempered glass is now available in various styles, making it the ideal choice for all your modern interior settings.
The Science behind Toughened Glass
Toughened glass, also known as tempered glass, is a safety glass made by subjecting annealed glass to controlled chemical or thermal treatments. This thermal tempering process puts the glass’s outer surface into compression by subjecting it to rapid cooling, whereas the interior of the glass is put into tension as it remains hot. Because of this compressive strength, when a toughened glass suffers a severe impact, it breaks into small, blunt chunks instead of jagged shards of glass. This makes toughened glass safer than ordinary glass as it is less likely to cause injuries in a rare breakage situation.
You should know about toughened glass because if you try to cut the toughened glass after the tempering process, it will cause breakage. Therefore the annealed glass should be pressed into the required shape or cut to size before the heat treatment. Once the glass has undergone the toughening process, you cannot work on it.
Interesting Facts about Toughened Glass
Fact 1. Unparalleled Strength
Toughened glass is known to be both thermally as well as physically strong. Toughened glass is four to five times stronger than usual or annealed glass of the same size and thickness and is three times stronger than heat strengthened glass! Research also shows that toughened glass can withstand surface compression of at least 10,000lbs per square inch. Tempered glass is quite robust, which is why it can bear load without breakage. As toughened glass is solid and sturdy, it can also reduce the risk of damage if they come in contact with a disaster or calamity.
Fact 2. Enhanced Safety
The fact that toughened glass is a safety glass should give you an idea that it’s the safest choice for your property. On a rare occasion of breakage due to some harsh impact, toughened glass breaks into harmless circular chunks instead of breaking into sharp jagged shards. This reduces the risk of incurring injuries, thereby making the toughened glass less dangerous than ordinary glass. Moreover, these circular chunks can easily be swept by a broom and then thrown into the garbage without the fear of any sharp shard causing injuries. This characteristic of the toughened glass makes it perfect for homes with small children.
Fact 3. Exceptionally Resistant
When annealed glass is exposed to high temperatures, it can quickly get cracked or damaged. However, toughened glass is manufactured using thermal tempering, making it highly capable of enduring uncomfortably high temperatures with ease. If your residential or commercial property is situated in a region that experiences high temperatures all year round, then installing toughened glass windows is a perfect choice.
Uneven heating due to being exposed to direct sunlight can make the glass surface expand and contract at different rates. This inconsistent absorption of direct sunlight can create stress in the glass, leading to damage or even breakage. However, you can avoid this by installing toughened glass as it has incredible resistance to thermal breakage. Toughened glass can easily withstand temperature differential up to 250°C. Moreover, tempered glass can also withstand strong winds, and it does not get damaged by heavy rain or hailstorms, making it an excellent pick for areas prone to weather disturbances.
Fact 4. Immune to Wear and Tear
Toughened glass does not get damaged easily and can maintain its pristine condition for years on end. They are immune to regular wear and tear and scratches, making them the ideal choice for the doors and windows that are used regularly.
Benefits of Toughened Glass
Toughened glass offers a great deal of improvement over the standard type of glass, especially when constructing buildings with glass exteriors. Let us look at why you need to choose toughened glass if you consider building a modern structure that involves countless glass panes.
Strong and Safe
One of the most fundamental reasons behind tempering glass is to provide it with the strength to combat rigorous environmental conditions. Since it is far less likely to break, many high-rise buildings, skyscrapers, stand-alone glass partitions, etc., are built using this type of glass. Furthermore, even if it fails due to exposure to very harsh conditions, it never shatters. When standard glass shatters into sharp shards, it can seriously hurt people standing close by. Toughened glass develops countless cracks and breaks into blunt bits that are incapable of causing any serious injuries. This makes this glass very safe for use, even around kids.
Toughened glass is immune to daily wear and tear. It does not get damaged easily and maintains its sheen and finish for years on end. It is ideal for glass partitions, residential as well as commercial doors and windows. No cricket ball will be able to shatter your windows as it used to in the 90s if they are built using toughened glass.
When the annealed glass is exposed to high temperatures continually, it can shatter, causing sharp shards of glass to sprawl all across your floor. This can be perilous, especially for children. However, toughened glass is manufactured using heat tempering and can endure uncomfortably warm and humid temperatures. This is why using them in your bathrooms makes much sense. For instance, a shower stall made from toughened glass gladly endures boiling water without incurring any damages.
You can mould toughened glass in varied creative ways due to its incredible strength and the capability to withstand trying temperatures. This is why it finds its applications ranging from cookware to commercial buildings. Other applications include frameless glass doors, table-tops, mobile phone screens, laboratory equipment, etc. Toughened glass is also amalgamated with laminated glass to manufacture bulletproof windows for vehicles.
Several Design Options
Toughened glass comes in several patterns and designs to address your varied requirements. For instance, choose from a range of frosted, translucent, coloured, clear and engraved options for different rooms that serve other purposes in your home or office. These diversities ensure that you achieve a keenly designed yet safe glass option.
Resists Damage from Sunlight
Sunlight heats exterior glass surfaces unevenly. Sometimes the direction of the building is such that one side sees more sun than the other. Direct sunlight expands and contracts glass surfaces. Unevenly absorbing direct sunlight makes the surface expand and contract unevenly. This difference may create stress in glass that may lead to damage or even breakage. Toughened glass can easily withstand this temperature differential up to 250°C.
Applications of Toughened Glass
In many countries worldwide, the government has mandated the use of toughened glass in high rise buildings as they can handle the air pressure and are lightweight. This glass is preferably installed in areas that experience heavy wind, snow and thermal loads. The regular annealed glass would succumb in such pressure areas. Due to its structural strength, it is used in architectural applications such as glass doors, partition walls and windows on the side of buildings.
In-office spaces, toughened glass can enhance the environment when used in glass doors, desks and partitions. Tempered glass is also low-maintenance and can be easily cleaned using a high-quality glass cleaner and a clean, damp cloth. Moreover, using glass partitions creates the illusion of a more spacious workplace by making the area seem more significant than it is.
Tabletops and shelves made of toughened glass help you store your belongings without worrying about the weight. It doesn’t just end here; toughened glass is also effectively used in washbasins, canopies and even your mobile screens!
From Durability to Aesthetics: The Journey of Toughened Glass
Now that we’ve discussed the wide range of functionalities intrinsic to toughened glass let us delve a little deeper into how it can even enhance the visual appeal of your work area. Firstly, you have the option of using toughened glass with frames or frameless depending upon where it is to be installed. For example – you can use framed toughened glass for walls of conference or board rooms and frameless ones for a cabin entrance door.
Moreover, you can transform toughened glass post-tempering to serve other functionalities and enhance the aesthetics. If you want privacy, toughened glass can be made to undergo the process of sand blazing or acid-etching to produce frosted glass. Or, if your privacy needs come and go, you can opt for switchable glass – a glass whose privacy you can control with the push of a button. Switchable glass or smart glass can be produced using the PDLC technology on toughened glass.
Furthermore, toughened glass can be back painted to add a pop of colour to your workplace and even segregate different spaces. Back painted glass is especially popular as room dividers and partitions. Back painted glass panels are fun to break up large, plain walls and fill other empty spaces. You can even use back-painted toughened glass as marker boards. Depending on your needs, toughened glass can even be laminated (ordinary, coloured, or fabric laminated).
Enhance Your Spaces’ Safety with AIS Stronglas
With so many legit advantages, toughened glass should be ideal for offices, homes, schools, and other commercial enclaves. To experience the best of toughened glass, always trust AIS Stronglas. AIS Stronglas is a high-grade toughened glass that is tough, durable, can withstand harsh conditions, and does not crack or break easily upon impact. Since it is several orders of magnitude stronger than ordinary glass, it has various applications such as table-tops, balustrades, shelves, facades, shower enclosures, partitions, and washbasins. Please consult with our team of experts and be rest assured of high-quality products delivered and installed professionally. Get in touch with us today.