Glass TypesAs discussed in the History of Glass section, the amount of heat used in the glass manufacturing process has a direct effect on the type of glass produced. Basically, the more heat used during the glass production process the stronger the final glass product will be. The following provides a breakdown of different types of glass available starting with the lowest amount of heat used (Annealed) and working up to the hottest method (Tempered).
Tempered GlassThermally Tempered Glass When the heat-treatment method is increased to provide the highest amount of surface compression, the result is Thermally Tempered Glass (TTG). This type of glass is four times as strong as annealed glass and is very resistant to thermal temperature changes that cause cracking. When tempered glass is broken, it breaks into smaller pieces (shards) that are less dangerous than larger fragments created by annealed glass. Tempered glass is beneficial to areas where glass breakage is most common such as car windshields and commercial storefronts. An etching label is normally on the corner of most tempered glass. This is to ensure that the glass is fully tempered.
IG Unit illustration3. Insulated Glass Insulated glass is a term used to describe two pieces of glass separated by airspace. Airspace is created using spacers or edge seals located at the top and bottom of an Insulated Glass (IG) unit. Additionally, a sealant is incorporated in the edge seals to absorb excess water vapor that travels across the seal. The airspace between the glasses minimizes heat transfer through conduction and convection, providing heavy, inert gases such as Argon and Krypton are sometimes placed in the airspace to slow down convection and reduce the amount of heat transfer. Window Film dealers should be well aware that IG units are highly susceptible to thermal stress fracture when films with high heat absorption (e.g. dyed films) are applied.
I.G. Unit close-upOther types of glass construction include wired, textured and patterned glass. However, the manufacturing process associated with these types of glass usually create surface and edge flaws increasing the chance of thermal stress. Bullet resistant glass is thick and is made using multiple laminates of glass and polycarbonates. These multiple layers increase the chance of thermal stress fracture since they will heat and cool at varying temperatures. Therefore, solar control films are not recommended for bulletproof glass. Sometimes a clear film will be applied to the interior surface to hold glass shards together at impact.
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