Thursday, 10 October 2013

An Introduction to Common Glass Types



Rather than jump straight into some piece about new advancements in glass, I thought it would be prudent to explain the different types of glass found in windows and doors of your average home. The three main types are annealed or float, toughened and laminate.

Annealed:

More commonly called float because when it is produced it is floated on a bed of molten tin. This is the most common type of glass found in windows throughout your home. It is not a safety glass, and if it breaks, extreme caution should be taken in picking up any broken pieces. This is because the “raw” edge of glass is razor sharp, light cuts cause virtually no pain, but will bleed a lot. It may sound a little dangerous to have around the home, but it is the most common due to its price. It is also relatively safe, as the Australian standards state it cannot be used next to a door, or in any window that could be mistaken for a door.

Toughened:

This is the glass you see on TV that blows up into a million pieces when it is shot at. This is annealed glass that has gone through a heattreatment. This is the most expensive option, primarily due to not being able to cut it after it has been heat treated. That is, if it is made the wrong size, it must be remade. The reason this is given a grade A safety rating is because once it has blown up, the worst you could expect is some minor cuts. Where in comparison, if you got a few shards of annealed dropped on you, you could very well loose a limb.

Laminate:

This is two pieces of annealed glass stuck together with a thin plastic interlayer. It is the kind of glass found in your car’s front windscreen. It will break just as easy as normal annealed glass, except the interlayer will hold the glass in place. It is because of this that laminate is a grade A safety glass, and also why it is a common choice for doors and windows in your home. Unlike annealed of toughened glass, if laminate breaks it does not create a void to the outside.

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