What is Tempered Glass?

Ashley Christensen
March 25, 2024

Those who are not glass experts, or not familiar with the different types of glass available, might have some questions regarding tempered glass. Tempered glass simply refers to how the glass, used for its strength, was made. But how exactly is it made? Why would you need tempered glass? How does tempered glass differ from regular annealed glass? 

How is Tempered Glass Made 

Before tempered glass can be tempered, it must first be cut down to the correct size for its intended use. Once the glass has been cut down to the appropriate size, it is then inspected for any obvious flaws that could possibly break or cause problems later on in the tempering process. Once the glass is fully prepped, it is then sent through a tempering oven, which then heats the glass to over 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Once the glass has been heated to a high temperature, it is then time to quickly cool things back down. 

The process of cooling the glass quickly is achieved through the use of air blasts, which cause the outer parts of the glass to cool faster than the inside parts of the glass, through a process known as “quenching”. With the inside and the outside parts of the glass now being two different temperatures, it causes the inner layers to retreat from the outer layer, resulting in a state of tension, with the outside in a state of compression. It is through this process that tempered glass gets its strength. 

What Tempered Glass is Used For

Due to its extra strength, tempered glass can be used in a variety of different applications, more so than regular annealed glass. Another attractive attribute of tempered glass is that when it does break, it shatters into tiny pieces rather than sharp, jagged pieces. Because it crumbles when it breaks, it is safer to use in environments that require safety glass, such as: 

  • Glass Tables with No Solid Base under it 
  • Entry Doors
  • Shower Doors
  • Car Windows
  • Glass Located Close to the Ground 

Difference Between Tempered and Annealed Glass 

As stated above, tempered glass is significantly stronger than regular annealed glass, so it can be used in a variety of different applications, unlike annealed. It also breaks differently, which is what makes it a safer alternative to annealed. Once tempered, tempered glass can not be cut down to a different size, regular annealed can be cut at any time. A lot of tempered glass will have a small marking in the corner to indicate that it is tempered, otherwise, there is no way to tell the difference between tempered and annealed. 

Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of what tempered glass is and what it is used for. If you need tempered glass or annealed glass services, contact Gordon’s Glass today! 

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