Commercial and Residential Glass Installer and Manufacturer Resource

What Are the Safety Benefits of Tempered Glass?

Nov 30, 2023 9:03:00 AM / by Greg Martell

Glass breaking. Tempering glass

When ordering glass for commercial applications, you’ll notice there are several types to choose from. Most commonly: annealed, laminated, heat-treated, and tempered.

It’s important to understand the various considerations of each of these types of glass to ensure you’re making the perfect choice for your project.

Here we will be talking specifically about glass tempering, but we do have resources available for heat-treated glass and beveled glass as well.

The Safety Benefits of Tempered Glass 

Glass tempering is most commonly used in applications where safety is a key consideration. Think commercial areas that experience heavy foot traffic as well as certain areas in the home.

Download our Glass Tempering 101 Guide for even more benefits of tempered glass:

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Here are some of the key safety benefits of tempered glass:

  • Strength: Tempered glass is considered to be 4 to 5 times stronger than standard annealed glass, making it more resistant to breakage. This is especially important in areas where the glass is likely to experience impact, such as shower doors, glass tabletops, and commercial storefronts.
  • Safety: When tempered glass is damaged, it breaks into small, pebble-like pieces instead of sharp jagged shards. Though of course, any broken glass can still cause harm, these small pebbles limit the risk of deep lacerations to the skin and other serious injuries.
  • Heat resistance: Tempered glass is also more heat resistant than annealed glass. This makes it ideal for use in applications where the glass is likely to be exposed to high temperatures, such as ovens, stovetops, and fireplace enclosures.
  • Code compliance: Many building codes and safety regulations require the use of tempered glass in specific applications to ensure the well-being of occupants. Meeting these standards not only enhances safety but also ensures compliance with legal requirements, avoiding potential liabilities for property owners.
  • Durability: Tempered glass is more durable and resistant to everyday wear and tear. It can withstand repeated physical and thermal stresses, making it a long-lasting solution for various architectural and design needs. The durability of tempered glass contributes to its safety benefits by maintaining its structural integrity over time.
  • Increased protection from vandalism: Tempered glass is more difficult to break than regular glass, making it a good choice for areas that are at risk of vandalism.
  • Enhanced security: Tempered glass can be used to create more secure windows and doors. It is also often used in security mirrors and other security products.

How Is Glass Tempering Done?

The glass tempering process involves heating a glass pane using a tempering oven and then putting it through a high-pressure rapid cooling process.

This procedure deliberately places stress on the glass. This stress produces tension that is compressed and spread to the outer edges of the glass, giving panes their final strength.

Where is Glass Tempering Most Commonly Seen?

Due to its reputation as being a glass that promotes safety, there are various consumer and commercial applications for tempered glass.

Here are some places in your own home where you might see this glass:

  • Skylight windows
  • Door windows
  • Shower doors
  • Tub enclosures
  • Furniture  

Safety Tips For Using Tempered Glass:

While tempered glass is a very safe material, there are a few safety tips that you should follow when using it:

  • Inspect tempered glass regularly for cracks or damage. If you find any damage, replace the glass immediately.
  • Do not attempt to cut or modify tempered glass yourself. Tempered glass can only be cut and modified before it is tempered.
  • Use tempered glass in all applications where safety is a concern. This includes areas where children or pets are present, as well as areas where there is a high risk of impact.

By following these safety tips, you can ensure that tempered glass provides the safety and durability that you need.

What Shapes Is Tempered Glass Available In?

Tempered glass can be ordered in nearly any shape you can think of.

Popular shapes for commercial applications include:

  • Squares
  • Rectangles
  • Parallelograms
  • Trapezoids
  • Half moons
  • + More

If you’re looking to order tempered glass and are curious about the shapes available, or have any other questions, feel free to contact us!

Contact New Angle Beveling

(Editor's note: This article was originally published in March 2019 and was recently updated.)

Topics: Glass, Glass Sheets, Custom Glass, Tempered Glass

Written by Greg Martell