Safety Glass

Ordinary glass, also commonly referred to as both float glass and annealed glass, was typically the most common type of glass available before safety glass was introduced. Due  to the increased amount of injuries caused by ordinary glass, however, many buildings are now required to comply with various standards, many of which require the installation of safety glass in areas that are of a high risk of human impact.

There are two different types of safety glass – Laminated glass & Toughened glass

Perhaps the most important aspect of each is that if it gets broken, it will neither shatter nor break apart into large pieces. This will, as a result, decrease the risk of injury.

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Laminated Glass

Laminated Safety Glass

This type of glass is most commonly used in both residential and commercial buildings. It is typically made of two or more sheets of either annealed glass or occasionally toughened glass bonded together with PVB plastic interlayer.

There are many different sizes and thickness of this glass available in either clear, bronze, or gray annealed laminated. The most common sizes are as follows:

  • 5.38mm
  • 6.38mm
  • 8.38mm
  • 10.38mm
  • 12.38mm

The most important feature is that if this glass is broken, the PVB bonded interlayer holds it together and prevents it from shattering or otherwise breaking apart. Other features include the following:

  • Preventing 99% of transmitted ultraviolet light
  • Greater sound insulation properties
  • Improved security to discourage burglars

Toughened Glass

Toughened Float Glass

Even though laminated glass meets all current safety requirements, toughened float glass is required to be used in certain instances. If this type of glass is broken, it will shatter; however, the pieces themselves, while small, are not dangerous whatsoever.

Although this safety feature is extremely important, the main reasons for this type of glass being used include thermal resistance and an increased amount of strength of up to five times that of annealed glass. Some of the most common applications of toughened glass include the following:

  • Frameless assemblies
  • Shower screens
  • Cooktops
  • Splashbacks
  • -Semi-frameless balustrades

The only real and unfortunate downside to this type of safety glass is that while the actual toughening process itself takes place, the glass becomes slightly corrugated and distorted, which can be visible when it is inspected closely.

Furthermore, once the glass itself becomes toughened, there is no way for it to be altered or cut in any way, shape, or form. This means that each glass panel is cut and processed in order to create customized products that essentially can’t be used in other locations. Also, if the glass breaks, the entire sheet disintegrates, which essentially eliminates all of its security benefits.

Safety glass is typically ideal for the following:

  • Glass balustrades
  • Shower screens
  • Safety mirrors that are laminated
  • Glass doors/windows
  • Frameless entry/balustrading
  • Automotive/transport
  • Various public venues
  • Different office buildings
  • Residential/factory buildings
  • Hospitals/schools
  • Restaurants/sporting facilities
  • Other types of buildings that require safety glass
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