In general, there are four common glass types used in glazing- all distinctly different from one another: The weakest in structural integrity to the strongest is as follows: annealed, heat strengthened, tempered/toughened and toughened laminated.
1. Annealed or Float Glass, is your basic non-impact glass type. It is used in applications where the required wind load is not so high and safety requirements are not a concern. Annealed glass is often seen in the windows and doors of older homes. When annealed glass breaks, it breaks in sharp chards. This type of glass is known for is extreme clarity, but can be tinted, sand blasted or frosted for a more diverse range of uses including installations in windows, tabletops, diffusing light. Annealed glass must only be used in complaint installations as per Australian Standards.
2. Heat Strengthened Glass is also a non-impact glass. It undergoes a “heat treatment” that increases its strength to twice that of annealed glass. It is used in similar applications to annealed glass but where the required wind loads are much higher. When heat strengthened glass breaks, it also breaks in chards and is not grade A safety glass. Heat strengthened glass must only be used in complaint installations as per Australian Standards.
3. Tempered Glass is a type of safety glass. Tempered glass is made by heating annealed glass uniformly through a furnace to temperatures exceeding 600 degrees Celsius. The annealed glass is then moved to the quenching chamber of the furnace and cooled. When broken, tempered glass breaks into small cubes. Tempered glass must only be used in complaint installations as per Australian Standards.
4. Toughened Laminated Glass is high strength structural glass, which is used for high wind areas, in high-rise sky-scrapers or for its many performance qualities such as heat resistance and acoustic noise reduction. Toughened Laminated Glass is often selected for architectural forms such as glass floors, awnings, and pool walls due to its high strength and brilliant clarity. In the event of the glass breaking, toughened laminated glass will remain intact in one piece, as opposed to other glass that break into smaller, sharp pieces that can and do cause potential injuries. Toughened Laminated Glass. Glass must only be used in complaint installations as per Australian Standards.
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