Compared to conventional and annealed glass, tempered products are four to five times stronger and more durable. The process of extreme heating and rapid cooling makes them significantly harder than standard glass. This is why they are the top choice for high-rise buildings, tabletops, windows, and doors.
The process of tempering alters the strength and other significant characteristics of the material. The process allows for greater resistance to mechanical stresses and helps with attaining certain break patterns for safe glazing applications. OpticalCoatings.com explains what makes such glass strong and unique.
Preparation Before Treatment
It is important to cut the tempered glass in the right shape before treatment. This is because you cannot cut it once it is treated or it will break into thousands of pieces. After the shaping, glass edges are sanded or belt-seamed to remove any uneven or sharp pieces. The glass is then washed to remove leftover debris and is treated to create the tempered effect.
Heating and Cooling
Glass manufacturers treat tempered glass to make it significantly more resistant to blunt impact. They heat it in a tempering oven and cool it faster than heat strengthened glass. This creates an equilibrium of tension and compression within the material, causing the surface layers to stretch tightly across the inner layer, producing greater strength.
Breaks in a Unique Way
Unlike standard products, tempered glass does not break into sharp ends when shattered. While this produces more mess, it does not produce sharp or pointed edges that could injure someone. This is why tempered glass is also referred to as safety glass and is top choice shower doors and glass handrails. Different stresses play a role until a glass defect erupts, triggering failure of the entire panel.
Chemically Tempered Glass
Chemically tempered glass is a type of glass with an increased strength because of a chemical process. It is called thermal strengthening, which makes the glass robust by compressing its surface. According to Corning Museum of Glass, the process uses heat and molten potassium salts to compress atoms in the glass.
Tempering makes the glass strong, secure, and safe. It strengthens the whole quality of glass, making it the perfect choice for building construction and other applications.