August 15, 2018

Thinking About Laminated vs. Tempered Glass? Here’s What You Need to Know

Thinking About Laminated vs. Tempered Glass? Here’s What You Need to Know

To retail shoppers, what’s inside a store is more important than what is on the outside - unless they’re only window-shopping. An uncluttered, creatively curated display of merchandise, behind a plain glass window, will command more eyes than the window itself; the window will be nothing more than a convenient, floor-to-ceiling mirror, before shoppers move on or drop in.

To business owners, however, what’s on the outside is equally as important as what is on the inside. To them, the window is more than just a plain partition. When they make their window selections, they have more serious concerns in mind; they’re thinking about providing the strongest level of protection for their storefronts and what’s inside. Thus, they recognize the importance of selecting safety glass like laminated or tempered glass.

Here is a breakdown of how laminated and tempered are different, as well as the reasons these differences should matter to you.

Why Is Safety Glass Significant?

Safety glass is important because it delivers enhanced security, a direct result of its makeup. Its properties enable it to handle significant amounts of pressure without breaking. Intruders hell-bent on breaking through safety glass barriers will be very surprised, because of this type of glass’s remarkable capacity to withstand repeated brute force. On the contrary, non-safety glass, lacking such high durability, can easily shatter from the impact of fallen tree branches and other forces.

While safety glass isn’t 100 percent shatterproof, if some outside force does manage to cause breakage, it doesn’t fall apart in large, uneven pieces, as non-safety glass does. Rather, safety glass shatters in tiny, even pieces. This means occupants in the immediate area do not need to be afraid of being injured by flying shards of glass.

What Exactly Is Laminated Glass?

Both laminated glass and tempered glass are frequently referred to when discussing safety glass, but they shouldn’t be used interchangeably. They’re both safety glasses, but they’re not the same.


To better understand why laminated glass is able to withstand great force - even bullet-resistant laminated glass is available - it helps to understand its makeup. This specialty glass is composed of three layers that are bonded together: two outer layers, made of ordinary glass, and a middle layer, that’s a thin, vinyl sheet, or resin. That tear-resistant resin provides flexibility, so that if the glass is pierced, it can “bounce back” and not be easily cracked.

If there’s a severe force that’s able to pierce an outer layer, odds are, it won’t easily pierce the remaining layers. In fact, the combined layers enable laminated glass to withstand such forces as hurricane-strength winds. As strong as laminated glass is, and as expensive as it, compared to tempered glass - sometimes costing up to four times as much - tempered glass is still stronger.

What Exactly Is Tempered Glass?

Tempered glass, also known as toughened glass, gets its extraordinary strength from the way it’s made. The glass endures a treatment process in a furnace, during which it’s subjected to excessive heat and then quickly cooled down, in order to toughen it and to make it flexible. The tempering process results in breakage-resistant glass that’s up to 10 times stronger than untempered glass, making it significantly more durable than laminated glass.

Conclusion

Commercial storefronts, with their well-arranged window displays, are more than just visual merchandising opportunities. They must protect the treasures both on display and on the inside, especially from intruders intent on grabbing and going. For this reason, sharp businesses invest in safety glass, such as laminated or tempered glass, which has the critical tensile strength, or capability to withstand stress and tension, to provide peace of mind and enhanced security.

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