Safety Glass: What to Look For

Safety Glass: What to Look For

Building codes require safety glass in situations where it is necessary for security or it is easy for someone to break the glass and hurt themselves. This includes glass in doors, sliding glass doors, shower glass, skylights, and even automobile glass. Safety glass comes in two main types: tempered and laminated.

Tempered Safety Glass

Tempered safety glass is regular glass that has gone through an additional heating and fast cooling process that increases the strength of the glass 4-5 times. Tempered glass also breaks differently than regular glass. Regular glass will break into long, sharp shards that can easily harm someone as it is breaking, or even while cleaning it up. Tempered glass breaks into thick, blunted blocks, reducing the chance of harming anyone. You may have noticed this type of fracturing with automobile windows, which is all tempered safety glass and breaks very differently than a standard window pane.

Laminated Safety Glass

Laminated safety glass is two pieces of regular glass with a very thin layer of clear plastic material sandwiched in between. Glass can also be laminated on the outside of the glass – tinting, for example, can be a laminating process. This process, while adding strength, is not the same as laminated safety glass. The layer of plastic between the glass layers keeps the broken glass stuck to laminate, often supporting itself even after the glass is substantially cracked. This effect is the same as bullet-proof glass, which mainly differs in that it has more, thicker layers of glass and plastic.  Windshields and skylights use laminated glass for extra strength and support when broken. Laminated safety glass also has the additional benefits of blocking dangerous UV light and sound-proofing that tempered safety glass does not have.

Choosing your Safety Glass

Both tempered and laminated glass are rated for use as safety glass. The best way to choose between them is based on function. If UV protection or sound proofing are beneficial for your use, then consider using laminated safety glass. In most cases, tempered glass is more affordable than laminated safety glass and is also available in more styles, and can be your go-to safety glass.

The glass experts at Dan’s Glass can work with you to ensure you are choosing the best glass for your project, including which safety glass is most appropriate.  Located in the Bay Area and in business for nearly 40 years, contact us today to get started on your next glass project.

Tags: , , , ,

Comments are closed.