What is toughened glass?

Toughened glass is the result of a process of subjecting glass to uneven heating which results in the glass to form layers as it cools. Although annealed glass is resistant to impact, about four times that of standard glass, toughened glass is even more resistant to impact than glass which was subjected to the annealing process. It is not indestructible, no commercially available really is, but when it does shatter it results in small cubes rather than sharp, jagged shards.

Toughened glass in Guildford starts out as standard float glass. Because it is not possible to undertake any additional work after the glass has been toughened all cutting, edge preparation, etc must be done prior to toughening.

During toughening the surface of the glass is heated, the glass will reach a temperature of about 600 degrees C. The glass is the quickly cooled by cold air, this takes no longer than 10 seconds. The result of this rapid cooling is a shrinking of the surfaces resulting in the development of tensile stresses. As the rest of the glass sheet cools, it contracts, the surfaces which are already solidified are forced to contract, the result is compressive surface stresses; the inside of the pane develops offsetting tensile stresses. After the process has been completed the toughened glass is resistant to thermal shock and has higher tensile strength. Nothing else changes as a result of the toughening process, the glass is just as clear and allows the same light transmission as standard glass. Click here to know more.

The most common uses for toughened glass in Guildford is display cases, patio doors and shower doors; any location where broken glass can cause an injury.

Because of the way the glass is layered it is considerably more resistant to any impact. An object such as a stone that is thrown at standard glass would completely shatter it or at least hole it, the same stone would simply bounce off toughened glass. As good as toughened glass is it does have a downside. Because of the higher tensile strength it is likely to explode if sufficient force is applied. This can be a security concern because in the event a toughened glass window is breached there are no lingering shards of glass to act as a deterrent against unwanted entry. As a result toughened glass gives way to laminated glass in areas where there are security issues, laminated glass which consists of a layer of tough plastic sandwiched between two outer panes of glass will not shatter; although it may break it will maintain a barrier against entry.

Toughened glass in Guildford is one of the speciality glasses available from Allways Glazing Works. The glaziers at Allways have the skill and the tools to produce any size or cut you need.

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