Modern-day glass innovations have left many with a sense of awe and wonder. After all, glass’ multitudinous abilities are the reason for it being revered as the choicest building material in many an architect’s and interior designer’s books. But, wouldn’t it be a delight to know the genesis of it all? Where did it all begin? Well, with the process of annealing! Annealed glass is the foundation on which all contemporary glass innovations rest. So, let’s find out about this wondrous glass in detail.
The Process of Annealing: A Wonder in Itself
One of the unique features of glass is how it behaves with temperature variation. When exposed to heat, it expands, and when exposed to cold, it contracts. Exposure to differential temperatures creates stress between the outer and inner layers of glass. The difference in stress levels within the glass pane can lead to breakage at room temperature. This is why it is imperative to cool glass down in a controlled manner and according to a predetermined temperature gradient. Doing this allows the interior as well as the exterior surface to cool off uniformly without breaking. The process where glass is made to cool in a controlled manner to relieve stress is called annealing.
What Is Annealed Glass?
Also known as float glass or plate glass, annealed glass is the glass that results from the process of annealing. For most glass panes, the annealing temperatures fall between 454°C to 482°C. Once the annealing process is complete and the glass has cooled down systematically, it can be drilled, cut, filleted and polished without the fear of it shattering. In a nutshell, annealed glass is the base to all modern-day innovative glass solutions.
Multifarious Applications: Journey of Annealed Glass
Annealed glass is commonly used in small-size windows that do not need to withstand high temperatures or pressures. Since this type of glass is easy to mould, it can also be used as a transparent glazing material for the building envelope, like external walls. This type of glass tends to shatter on impact which is why it is mostly made to undergo further processing like heat-strengthening, chemical tempering, lamination, back painting, etc., to improve its applications. As a result, annealed glass can be made stronger and more durable, decorative and aesthetically more appealing, energy-efficient, noise-resistant, opaque in appearance, and so on.
Annealed Glass: From Crystal-Clear Clarity to Much More
Since annealed glass intrinsically has high-clarity, it allows for a higher degree of light to pass through it. Using windows made of annealed glass allows a healthy amount of natural light to permeate into your homes and makes them bright and comfortable. Alternatively, if you like natural light, but not too much of it, annealed glass also comes in several tints, with an ability to produce a diverse range of opacities. Since this glass can be cut, drilled and polished easily, fabricators often customise it as per the final requirements before putting it through the final process of tempering or laminating. Annealed glass is manufactured in an eco-friendly manner. This makes it sustainable and environment-friendly.
Difference between Annealed Glass and Toughened Glass
Annealed glass is at the base of every type of further glass processing. For instance, it is put through the process of tempering through which toughened safety glass is manufactured. Tempering does not alter the shape or size of the pre-cut annealed pane, it simply makes it at least four to five times stronger than its counterpart. When annealed glass breaks on impact, it may shatter but heat-tempered glass does not shatter easily. It also does not smash into pieces if the impact is strong enough to break it. Tempered glass shatters into blunt, pebble-like pieces that do not fall to the floor easily.
How Do I Install Annealed Glass?
You don’t! You call a trained technician who works with a reputed glass manufacturer and get it professionally-installed. Since annealed glass is not tempered, it can shatter into relatively sharper pieces if not handled with care. Getting annealed glass installed in your new home or getting an old annealed window pane replaced is a task that needs expert equipment and hands. Purchase annealed panes from a trusted brand that has been in this industry for several years.
The Bottom Line
Annealed or Float glass has several applications, both in residential properties as well as commercial enclaves, especially once it is toughened and laminated. With modern advancements in glass fabrication, product variants such as ultra-thin annealed glass are finding applications in electronics technology, such as computer and mobile phone screens, and new-age televisions.
Looking for annealed or any other type of glass for your next project? Reach out to AIS Glass for all your glass-related woes and needs. Our Clear Float Glass comes with a precise surface flatness that ensures 100% distortion-free vision. As a result, both true and reflected images appear very bright with crystal-clear clarity. Moreover, all processing techniques such as insulating, laminating, glazing, thermal toughening, enamelling, silk-screen printing, sandblasting, acid-etching, and bending can be easily carried out on AIS Clear Float Glass. So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with us today!