Properties of Tempered Glass

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Properties of Tempered Glass
Properties of Tempered Glass

Glass is one of the toughest substances around---tougher even than soft steel when it has no imperfections. Tempered (or hardened) glass is the original transparent structural element. Before the advent of tough, nonscratch plastics, tempered glass was chosen for doors, walls and automobile windows and is still preferred for its clarity and reflective qualities.

  1. Flexibility

    • Tempered glass is less brittle because the tempering process eliminates the imperfections that weaken regular glass.

    Density

    • The intense heat (over 750 degrees Celsius) used to harden the glass creates a dense outer envelope as it cools, which creates improved insulating properties.

    Impacts

    • Three-quarter-inch thick tempered glass can withstand the impact of a half-pound iron ball dropped from a height of 36 feet, but a comparable piece of plate glass will generally break if the weight is dropped from a height of 3 feet.

    Load Strength

    • Tempering makes glass that can withstand thousands more pounds per square inch than plate glass, making it a favorite material for tabletops and other weight-bearing surfaces.

    Transparency

    • Because of its density, tempered glass is generally less clear or transparent than comparable plate glass and is often colored or coated with reflective materials, which also protects its surface.

    Safety

    • Tempered glass crumbles rather than shattering, which is a preferable trait for uses that may be subject to sudden forces, like car windshields.

    Structural Qualities

    • Architects choose hardened glass for exterior walls, doors, even buildings in hurricane zones---anywhere an exceptionally strong, flexible, transparent material is needed.

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  • Photo Credit Microsoft Office clip art, Wikimedia Commons

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