Back in 1927, laminated auto glass was developed to help make the first cars safer to drive. This early form of safety glass helped prevent windshields from shattering during accidents. These days, safety glass has come a long way and is used to create everything from multistoried atriums to drive-through windows. There are two main types of safety glass on the market – they work in different ways, but they both prevent injury when glass breaks.
At the most basic level, laminated glass is a transparent plastic sheet sandwiched between two or more pieces of glass. The layers are fused together with heat to create a sturdy shatter-resistant product with enhanced strength and thermal protection properties.
Multiple layers of glass and different types of plastics can be fused together to create thick, strong sheets that won’t shatter on impact. When laminated glass breaks, the plastic holds the shards together and prevents sharp edges from breaking away and causing injury. This is also how bullet resistant and sound resistant glass are made.
Like laminated glass, tempered glass is strong and durable. However, tempered glass can shatter, and when it does, it breaks into chunks of harmless pieces. Tempered glass has a high edge strength and can withstand thermal pressures, so it’s often used in storefronts and building applications where structural weight and weather are considerations. It’s also used in automobiles and consumer products like tables.
Tempered glass is made by heating and quickly cooling annealed glass, which makes it up to ten times stronger and able to break into small, safe pieces when shattered. This makes it a safer alternative to standard glass and a good option for external commercial applications.
From exterior walls to interior doors and partitions, safety glass brings modern airiness to commercial buildings without creating unnecessary hazards.
At UPG, we have the expertise to source the right type of safety glass for each commercial project we are involved with. We know the building codes and the tensile strength of different products, and our installation team has decades of combined commercial glazing experience. When you need safety glass installed, give us a call to get started!