Toughened glass (also known as tempered glass) is strengthened by speeding up the rate in which it is cooled. This process increases the tensile strength of the glass, making it less susceptible to breakage caused by heat, wind and impact. When toughened glass breaks, it shatters into small cubes, minimising the likelihood of injury upon breakage. Toughened glass cannot be cut or drilled, however it can still shatter making it less secure than laminated glass.
Due to its high-resistance to force and lightweight properties, toughened glass is often used in shower screens and doors, passenger windows in vehicles, glass doors and tables, scuba diving masks and a variety of cookware and crockery.
Laminated glass, on the other hand, is manufactured by placing a layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) between multiple panes of glass and fusing the entire unit together using heat and pressure. The interlayer of PVB holds the glass in place, preventing the unit from shattering upon impact. Furthermore, by varying the thickness and colour of the PVB interlayer, laminated glass can be used to minimise the transmission of solar energy, reduce UV radiation and control glare.
As a result of the shatter-proof characteristic of laminated glass, it is often used in skylights, vehicle windshields and shopfronts.
Both types of safety glass are significantly stronger, more secure and safer than standard glazing units. There are also instances in which they legally must be used (check Australian Standards 2208 and 1288).
If you’re considering installing safety glass in your building, we recommend you contact us. We can custom-make and install quality safety glass to your specifications, following all required Australian Standards. To find out more, read our Australian Glass Quality and Compliance blog.