All glass used in a home or office situations should either be toughened or considered a robust glass i.e. a glass that achieves its strength through its thickness.
How is Glass Toughened
Toughened glass or Tempered glass obtains its strength from the process it undergoes. Toughened glass starts life as standard float glass. Float glass, when shattered breaks into dagger-like pieces and can be harmful, it is, therefore, unsuitable for home applications, Tempered glass on the other hand fractures into small, relatively harmless pieces.
To prepare glass for the tempering process, it must first be cut to the size required. (Product failure can occur if any fabrication operations, such as drilling holes, for example, is attempted after the glass has been heat treatment / toughened.) The glass is then checked for imperfections, such as chips on the edge which could cause weak points causing the glass to fracture during the tempering process. An abrasive belt is then used to remove the sharp edges of the glass, which is then thoroughly washed. Next, the glass is heated in a furnace to around 720 degrees C and then the surfaces are rapidly cooled using a process called “quenching.” During the “quenching” process, which lasts just a few seconds, high-pressure air blasts the surface of the glass from an array of nozzles in varying positions. Quenching cools the outer surfaces of the glass much more quickly than the centre. This puts the outer surfaces into compression whilst the inner surfaces remain in tension. The result is a glass that’s 4 to 5 times the strength of standard glass or annealed glass.
That’s a very brief synopsis and in order to demonstrate our faith take a quick look at the following video clip!
In this Australian demonstration, the glaziers are using a sheet of 10mm toughened glass to demonstrate its incredible strength – in general, the minimum thickness of glass we use in our furniture is 12mm and toughened to make our tables incredibly strong – you could even dance on them if feel that way inclined!
Glassdomain are the UK experts when it comes to using glass for interior design and we are happy to work with you to create that stunning feature in your next project.
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