If you have ever made construction decisions before, you know that different usage needs require different kinds of glass. Although annealed glass is more common and often less expensive, it tends to break more easily than tempered glass and shatters into big shards that can be a safety concern. Because safety is a factor in design, it is often critical to choose tempered glass over annealed glass.
In this blog, we discuss some practical uses of tempered glass. We focus on the durability of the design, but precisely the features that are responsible for people’s safety. Here is a list of the top-six uses of tempered glass, when safety is a priority.
Windshields and other vehicle windows have a much higher standard for safety than windows for a building. Cars are designed with minimum requirements for safety, specifically as it pertains to the possibility of a collision. In a crash, passengers cannot afford the risk of injury resulting from large shards of glass striking them. Also, durable glass offers additional protection from any kind of projectile that might hit the window during the incident. Windows that remain intact in a collision help to minimize repair costs, and thus help the owner avoid a total loss.
Windshields endure strikes from all manner of small projectiles, including rocks, hail, bugs, debris from trees, and even birds. They must be able to resist such damage without cracking, as even the tiniest crack can grow and spread across the windshield if enough pressure bears down on it.
2. Bullet-Proof Glass
There are many reasons why a designer might opt for bulletproof glass. Although bullet-proof glass most commonly requires a second type of glass and a polycarbonate coating, the primary glass used is tempered glass, as it can withstand a strike from a projectile. Such glass is thick and heavy, and the more alternating layers of glass and polycarbonate that it contains, the higher the caliber of bullet it can withstand.
There are too many uses for bullet-proof glass to describe here. Some involve vehicles; some protect personnel in embassies or banks. The critical thing to remember is that some people run the risk of facing a more significant threat, and thus require a higher level of security. Design should thus account for the number of individuals one might encounter during a threat and the caliber of weapon(s) they might employ.
3. Athletic Facilities
Gyms, training centers, and Sports arenas all require glass in their design to maximize visibility and visual appeal. Some surfaces require durable glass to withstand strikes from balls or competitors during a game or training. Others may not see such impacts, but still need to be sustainable because they’re in high-traffic areas. Swimming pools also sometimes feature glass, and that glass must withstand the constant pressure of the water it contains.
4. Kitchen Items and Appliances
Specific items in the kitchen require tempered glass in their design. Ovens and microwaves must feature glass that is resistant to heat, and tempered glass offers this while providing additional durability. Cookware and utensils often contain tempered glass for the same reasons. Any quality chef knows the importance of reliable equipment when getting the job done. As the more durable these items are, the longer they last, and the more capable the cook will be at using them to their desired effect.
Glass walls invite those from outside to enter and improve the building’s aesthetic. However, they are the building’s first line of defense. Any structure requiring a key should have a durable exterior to protect it from vandals, criminals or any people causing a disturbance. Courthouses, banks, and private companies are but a few entities that include tempered glass in their design, thus securing their operation and preserving value for their patrons. Moreover, on higher levels, buildings may face strikes from birds and bats or extreme changes in pressure and wind. Tempered glass also serves the design well in these cases.
Glass railings are a standard feature of the interior of modern buildings. In malls for example, glass railings not only improve a facility’s aesthetic, they enable patrons on lower levels to see storefronts and activity on upper levels. Some of these glass railings must bear weight, and all of them must be able to prevent falls for those who lean on them or strike them, including children, to a certain amount of force. Tempered glass is the best choice for providing such protection while contributing to the visual design.