Windows and doors are an essential part of any building’s safety. They provide both security for those inside as well as protection from the outside elements, such as weather and burglars. Annealed (regular) glass is seen as a target for burglars due to it breaking easily. Additionally, it can be dangerous in extreme weather conditions and in the event of an accident since the glass may break and leave sharp pieces that could potentially injure someone.
Fortunately, there are ways to strengthen glass windows and doors and raise security levels in general through the use of alternatives. One of the alternatives frequently used is tempered glass.
Here, we will define tempered glass and discuss where it can be used.
What is Tempered Glass?
Annealed glass shatters into dangerously sharp pieces and leaves ragged edges in the window frame. Additionally, these sharp pieces can potentially fly through the air during severe weather and potentially injure people in the vicinity. This is one of the most common injuries during a severe storm.
In order to counter this, scientists have developed a method to reinforce annealed glass during the manufacturing process through the method of extreme heating and fast cooling, known as tempering. This process is done to prevent the shattering nature of annealed glass.
Extreme heating and fast cooling of the glass using bursts of air causes the outside layers of the glass to compress before the inner layers do. As the inner layers cool, it pulls on the outer layers, causing tension and compression which alters the glass’ physical characteristics.
Tempered glass is significantly safer in the event it shatters due to it breaking into little, dull cubes as opposed to large and deadly shards.
Where can Tempered Glass be Used?
Tempered glass is the ideal solution for those who want to increase safety and security. Additionally, tempered glass is used for smartphone screens, phone screen protectors, household appliances, and car windows to name a few.
The following are suggested applications for tempered glass in home and business settings:
Regardless of size, sliding doors, swinging doors, and folding doors should make use of tempered glass. Doors in high-traffic areas need to be made as safe as possible in case of an accident.
Building regulations in South Africa mandate that any glass used for stair railings or in close proximity to staircases must be safety glass, such as tempered glass. In the event one wants to build a staircase from glass, tempered glass is recommended.
In commercial settings, and in some residential settings, depending on the size of the window and its proximity to walking surfaces, tempered glass is recommended.
Recreational Areas and Bathrooms
The increased risk of falls and accidents makes tempered glass crucial to use around pools, saunas and shower doors in bathrooms to avoid severe injury.