Safety glass is a type of glass that is designed to be less likely to break and less likely to inflict serious injury in the rare event it does break. The two main types of safety glass include toughened (or tempered) glass and laminated glass.
One of the most common questions we get asked is ‘which type of glass is the safest?’ Although toughened glass is most commonly recommended for safety, it does ultimately come down to what it is being used for.
Toughened glass is manufactured through the use of thermally or chemically controlled treatment processes. It is these processes that strengthen the glass and make it more resistant to force.
Although it is very difficult to break toughened glass, it’s not impossible. In the rare event breakage does occur, toughened glass shatters into many smaller pieces rather than large, sharp shards of glass. Because of this property, it is much safer than standard, annealed glass and is significantly less likely to inflict injury. This is why toughened glass is often used in motor vehicle windows and diving masks.
Toughened glass is also Grade A safety glass and is therefore frequently used in areas and spaces where compliance with Australian Glass Safety Standards is a must. This includes schools, hospitals, low-level glazing, aged care facilities, and child care centres.
Laminated glass is composed of two pieces of glass with an interlayer commonly made from polyvinyl butyral. This prevents the glass pieces from shattering as they remain stuck to the interlayer rather than breaking off into sharp shards.
As laminated glass sticks together even when it is shattered, it provides much greater security against potential break-ins, severe weather, and sudden impact. Because of this, laminated glass is most commonly used in shopfronts, windows and doors, balustrades, and glass fencing.
If you’re wanting to install safety glass into your commercial or residential building and are still unsure which type is best for you, give Magic Glass a call! Our friendly team will be able to provide you with recommendations and point you in the right direction when it comes to installation.
We can also provide you with a free quote for custom safety glass fabrication and installation.