Information About Tempered Glass | Central Glass Company

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Midvale/Sandy: 801-561-2213
Downtown SLC: 801-355-7577
Bountiful: 801-295-3449
West Valley: 801-969-1491

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Tempered Glass

Tempered Glass – Salt Lake City, UT – Central Glass Company

What is tempered glass — and is it the right option for your next custom project? You’re ready to design a new tabletop, shower enclosure, shelving unit, or partial wall. Should you use tempered glass or the plain (also known as annealed) variety? Before you start the planning process, take a look at everything you need to know about tempered glass.

How Is Tempered Glass Different From Annealed Glass?

Annealed glass is the standard translucent material used to make decorative items and some types of stemware/drinking glasses. While tempered glass may look like annealed glass, it’s made differently. Instead of cooling slowly and naturally, tempering requires the glass manufacturer to cool the product quickly. This quick-cooling method increases the material’s strength and changes the way it shatters when broken.

Annealed glass may easily break upon impact. When this type of annealed glass breaks, it shatters into sharp, potentially dangerous shards, but tempered glass won’t. Even though tempered glass can potentially cause an injury, it’s made to shatter into pellets. These pieces are less jagged than annealed glass shards, so they won’t pose the same level of risk. 

Why Would You Choose Tempered Glass?

Strength is the primary reason to choose tempered glass over an annealed product. Some custom glass projects require a safety or strong and durable glass. If your project will support other objects, could easily sustain an impact, or you just want to reduce the risks of unintentional damage-related injuries, tempered glass is an option to explore.

What Types of Custom Projects Are Made From Tempered Glass?

Common uses for tempered glass include tabletops, shower doors or enclosures, doors, shelves, vehicle windows, and architectural elements of residential or commercial structures. 

In 2016, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revised mandatory safety standards for glazing materials used in architectural items. These items include storm doors, interior/exterior doors, bathtub and shower doors and enclosures, and sliding glass patio doors. Along with this mandatory standard, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) issued a voluntary standard for the use of tempered glass in horizontal tabletops.

The use of tempered glass in architectural items and tabletops can reduce the likelihood of a serious injury. If your custom glass project requires strength to support other items or a person’s weight and could cause an injury if the item shatters, choose tempered glass. A quality glass contractor should have full knowledge of the current glass use-related rules, regulations, and requirements. If you’re not sure what type of glass to choose or if you can only use tempered glass, talk to the professional. 

Is Tempered Glass the Strongest Option?

Your next custom glass project requires superior strength. Is tempered glass still the best option? Now that you know more about the differences between annealed and tempered glass, you’re sure that the regular version is not the right choice, but you’re still not sure whether tempered glass is the type to pick.

Even though tempering increases strength and reduces shatter-related risks, you may want to select another option. Laminated tempered glass adds extra layers that increase the thickness of the glass and improve the item’s overall strength. 

A laminated tempered pane sandwiches a piece of translucent plastic film in between tempered glass. Not only does the lamination process add strength, but the plastic film also helps to hold shattered pieces together after an impact. This decreases the chance of flying shards and can make the glass a stronger, safer choice for your home project.

Are you ready to design a new glass tabletop, shower enclosure, door, or other architectural element for your home? Contact Central Glass Company for more information. 

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