What is toughened glass?
Toughened glass is float glass that has been toughened. The toughening process is where glass is heated and cooled in a particular way. This results in glass being 4-5 times stronger than the regular annealed (float glass) of the same thickness. This type of glass is Grade A Safety Glass according to the Australian Glass and Glazing Standards, AS1288.
How it breaks
This glass has a higher impact capacity than float glass, however, it is not resistant to breaking if impacted significantly enough. If this glass is impacted to where it breaks, it is designed to shatter into tiny cuboid pieces to minimise the risk of injury to people. Standard Float glass breaks into large, sharp shards. This is quite dangerous, versus toughened glass which breaks into tiny cuboid pieces.
Why is this considered safety glass?
After toughening, the glass is 4-5 times stronger than float glass of the same thickness. It shatters, rather than breaks into shards, potentially, minimizing the significance of cuts.
How do I know if I have this glass in my home?
If glass has been toughened it should have a stamp from the supplier in one of the corners of the glass which indicates it is toughened. Sometimes they don’t in which case you will only know when it is broken.
Where can Toughened glass be used?
- It can be used in framed shower screens
- Semi-frameless and frameless shower screens must be toughened glass
- Safety glass must be used in bathrooms, and toughened glass can be an option. (This is one type of safety glass that can be used)
- Doors and sidelights (Glass panels next to doors)
- Sliding doors
- Doggy doors/pet doors are recommended to be toughened glass in our expert opinion
- Must be used for glass tabletops where the glass is weight bearing
- Unframed pool fencing and balustrading
Pros and Cons of Toughened Glass
- Strength; it is 4-5 times stronger than its counterpart float glass equivalent
- It is harder to break than regular glass
- Can be used in a variety of different areas in a house such as windows, doors, shower screens, fencing etc
- This glass is able to be utilised in places to create great aesthetics and ambience, offering very modern and elegant pieces in homes. For e.g shower screens (that do not have to have bulky frames around the glass)
- It cannot be re-sized. Once it has been cut to size and toughened, it is permanent. It cannot be cut again as it will only break.
- Although it is stronger than regular glass, it can still break and when it does, it breaks into tiny pieces that can cause quiet a mess.
- Spontaneous explosion; we often get asked if toughened glass can spontaneously explode. The answer is, sometimes it can…If there is uneven heating of the glass panel itself, or if the glass is pressed up against a frame, where the frame does not expand at the same rate as the glass, it can result in breakage/exploding.
- Cleaning up the glass when broken as the tiny pieces can travel quiet a distance and also get stuck in the window framing/sliding door
- Takes 2 weeks to process/order
More information can be found on other types of safety glass, such as laminated safety glass here: https://hainesglass.com.au/safety-glass/