This past week I had a customer who had a slight misunderstanding of what tempered safety glass was, so I thought I’d take a minute to discuss just what tempered glass is and the safety features it provides.
Tempered (or toughened) glass is a type of safety glass in which chemical or thermal treatments are used to strengthen it so that it is harder to break then standard glass. Tempering compresses the outer surfaces and puts the inner surfaces of the glass into tension. When broken, these forces cause the glass to crumble into granular chunks as opposed to larger sharp edged pieces, and are much less likely to cut you. This is why auto manufactures use tempered safety glass in the side and rear windows of cars.
If you’ve ever had a broken side window on your car, you’ve seen how when tempered safety glass breaks it shatters into hundreds of small grainy pieces all over the inside of your car. If you’ve broken your windshield though, you can see a spider web of cracks throughout the window, but it typically stays in its frame as opposed to filling the car with pieces of glass. Auto manufactures do something different with the windshields. They use laminated safety glass.
If the goal is to keep your modular building‘s window in its frame if it breaks, you’ll need to look at either wired glass or laminated glass.