Tempered glasses have revolutionized the way people think about glasses. In contrast to the general perspective that glasses are fragile and can be broken at the slightest bit of pressure, tempered glasses helped in changing this outlook. Today, thanks to their strength and durability, tempered glasses are widely used across several industries. This includes construction projects, vehicle windows, and shower doors, to name a few (we’ll talk about its applications in detail in the latter part of this article).
Before jumping into the specifics, such as what are the types of tempered glass, their properties, and their applications, it is important to know how they are made. First, using a special furnace, annealed glass is heated evenly and uniformly to a high temperature of 620°C. As soon as it reaches the desired level, it is immediately removed from the furnace and placed for rapid cooling. This process induces compression in the glass while its core remains within the tension.
Now, since we know about the basics of how tempered glass is made, let us move on to the types of tempered glass:
Types of tempered glass
There are primarily five different types of tempered glass. They are as follows:
- Clear tempered glass
- Frosted tempered glass
- Tinted tempered glass
- Laminated tempered glass
- Reflective tempered glass
Each and every type of tempered glass mentioned above carries the virtues of strength and durability. However, they differ from one another, and the difference in their visual effect is a major one. For instance, the frosted type of tempered glass scatters the light that passes through it, giving a translucent effect. In contrast, the reflective type of tempered glass helps in combating solar glare.
Since we have covered the tempered glass types, let’s now talk about their properties.
Properties of tempered glass
Before a glass is classified as tempered glass, it has to meet several requirements. This includes meeting the minimum compressive stress of 69 megapascals (10,000 psi). You might be thinking, where does the tempered glass get its strength from? Well, it derives from the comprehensive stress on its surface.
When tempered glasses break, they would shatter into smaller circular pieces instead of sharp ones. This makes them ideal for explosion-proof and high-pressure applications. Plus, tempered glass makes sure that there isn’t any expansion when it breaks. To summarize all of these points concisely, here are its top 5 properties:
- Impact resistance- In comparison to float glass, tempered glass has higher impact resistance, enabling it to endure high-stress situations and temperatures.
- Strength- Did you know that tempered glass can be 3 to 7 times stronger than annealed glass? This makes it ideal for those purposes where there is a higher frequency of heavy loads.
- Versatility- Tempered glasses can be moulded and shaped into different forms and styles. Hence, it can be used for a wide variety of purposes, ranging from cars to homes and refrigerators.
After covering the types and properties of tempered glass, let us now finally move on to its applications.
Applications of tempered glass
Wherever there is the requirement for safety, resistance, and strength, the first choice that comes to mind is tempered glass. Here are a few top applications of tempered glass:
- Passenger vehicles
- Residential construction
- Commercial buildings
Passenger vehicles come equipped with tempered glasses. Why? Well, cars are always parked outside and are exposed to regular heating and cooling. Hence, they need optimal thermal resistance, which tempered glasses help deliver seamlessly. Another reason why tempered glasses are used in passenger vehicles is that in case of an accident, tempered glasses won’t break into sharp shards. This means they won’t pose any threat to the passengers sitting inside!
When it comes to residential construction, tempered glasses have a wide range of applications. Thanks to their strength, durability, and thermal resistance, they can be used as glasses that are placed near the fireplace, glass shelves, cabinets, glass tabletops, and frameless shower doors.
There are several building codes that state tempered glasses must be used under several situations. This includes using them for skylights, stairways, doorways, and elevators. They can also be used for frameless glass doors and facades. In general, we can say that in commercial buildings, tempered glasses are used wherever glass poses a life threat in the event of human impact.
From refrigerators’ glass panels to microwaves’ doors, most kitchen appliances today have some form of tempered glass in them. Why? Well, they can hold a lot of pressure and resist high temperatures, hence ensuring there are no glass-related accidents.
After covering the types, properties, and applications of tempered glass, we can say that it is a boon for every industry! From making vehicles safer to making our homes aesthetic, tempered glass has become a benchmark of quality. Owing to its high resistance against temperature and pressure, rest assured they would be useful in most situations.
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