Commercial and Residential Glass Installer and Manufacturer Resource

Tempering Glass: What Are the Safety Benefits?

Mar 12, 2019 9:16:50 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 tempering glass, but we do have resources available for heat-treated glass and beveled glass as well.

The Benefits of Tempering Glass

Tempered glass 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.

Glass that has been tempered is considered to be 4 to 5 times stronger than standard annealed glass. It does not break into sharp, dangerous shards when it is shattered.

When tempered glass breaks, it breaks into small, randomly shaped pieces of glass that look similar to pebbles. 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.

The thermal manufacturing process that creates tempered glass also makes the final glass heat resistant -- a property not seen in standard glass.

How Is Glass Tempering Done?

Tempering glass requires heating a glass pane using a tempering oven and then putting it through a high-pressure 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 Tempered Glass 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  

Building codes often require that public windows be made of tempered glass to minimize injury and damage should the glass break.

What Shapes Are 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!

Download our Glass Tempering 101 Guide for even more info:

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

Written by Greg Martell