Tempered glass—also known as toughened glass—is a strengthened material used when traditional annealed glass isn’t strong enough. Tempered glass is created by heat processing glass, making it up to four times stronger.
Uses and Applications of Tempered Glass
Tempered glass is immensely versatile and used in a wide variety of products. Tempered glass is used in automobile windows to make them less dangerous in the event of an accident. Tempered glass will break into smaller, duller pieces than annealed glass, making it the safer choice.
Tempered glass can also be found around the home in heat-adjacent objects such as stovetops, counters, ovens, and tabletops.
Essentially, toughened glass can be found anywhere that requires glass to withstand a great deal of wear and tear. It is specifically made to avoid injury in case of breakage and provides an ideal solution for:
- High-pressure windows
- Lighting products
- Explosion-proof windows
- Display cases
Related Processes and Specific Requirements of Glass Tempering
Tempered glass is created by heating glass. The tempering process involves a couple of steps:
- Heating. The glass travels through a high-heat tempering oven and is heated to approximately 1200 °F.
- Quenching. After it has been sufficiently heated, the glass is then quenched—or cooled down. The quenching procedure is very fast, and consists of several nozzles blasting the glass with cool air for several seconds. This is where tempered glass gets its strength—this dramatic shock causes the surface and edges to become compressed, and the inner layer to be in tension, thus strengthening the material by three to five times.
Tempered Glass Solutions from Swift Glass
At Swift Glass, our expert thermal glass tempering services are of the highest quality. Whether your project is big or small, you can feel secure knowing Swift Glass provides only carefully inspected, high-quality tempered glass parts.
In addition to our thermal tempering and chemical strengthening capabilities, our experienced specialists provide numerous services, including ultra-high pressure cold cutting, chemical strengthening, CNC machining, printing, drilling, and polishing.
To learn more about the benefits of tempered glass, download our eBook, “Creating Glass That Withstands Extreme Environments,” or contact us with any further questions.
High performance glass is in demand for a variety of applications that require durable and reliable glass products, including windows for industrial and safety applications that must withstand bullets, explosions, and high pressure. In addition to windows, high performance glass is useful for industrial lighting products, military, medical and many other applications.
High Performance Glass Stress Points
The value of high performance glass comes from its high breaking point and the manner in which it breaks. Rather than shattering into long, sharp pieces like standard annealed glass, high performance, or tempered, glass breaks into small pebble-shaped pieces that are less likely to cause severe injury.
High performance glass is used particularly in situations where certain external forces would break untreated glass, as it can withstand stress more easily. It is especially useful in applications where the following factors may be encountered:
High pressure from architectural stress, water pressure from marine environments, or extreme pressure variations in aerospace applications can cause breakage and damage of standard annealed glass. High performance tempered glass provides an excellent alternative to ensure both durability and safety in environments where extreme pressure changes are common.
In certain industrial environments, tempered glass is an excellent material for windows and other glass components, as it is highly resistant to temperature changes and has a higher resistance to thermal shock.
Harsh, Wet, and Extreme Environments
Heat strengthened glass is useful in applications with exposure to harsh weather conditions. With its thermal resistance and tensile strength, high performance glass is an ideal material for high winds, rain, and temperature extremes.
Explosions, Bullets, and Projectiles
Tempered glass is frequently used in the production of car windshields, industrial windows, and other applications where its impact-resistant nature is useful. In the event that tempered glass does break, it is into small pieces that are much less dangerous than typical sharp shards produced by standard glass.
The Thermal Glass Tempering Process
What Is Tempered Glass?
Unlike standard annealing treatments, which allow the interior and exterior temperature of the glass to cool at the same rate, tempering uses an extreme heating and rapid cooling process. This process causes the exterior of the glass to harden and cool more quickly than the interior, so the exterior compresses the glass interior. The stress between the interior and exterior structures creates a higher tensile strength than that of annealed glass.
Tempered glass is also more heat resistant, and can withstand heat up to 470°F, which could cause untreated glass to shatter or crack. The main benefit of tempering is the compression prevents the glass from breaking into jagged pieces upon impact. Rather, the glass crumbles into less dangerous rounded pebbles.
How Glass Is Tempered
Glass is tempered through a series of four steps:
- Glass is cut to the desired size and shape.
- Glass is thoroughly cleaned and examined for imperfections. Any debris or imperfections on the surface of the glass will compromise the tempering process.
- The cleaned and flawless glass is heat treated in a specialized tempering oven.
- Once heated, the glass is quenched in high-pressure cold air currents from numerous directions to create the desired tension between the cooled outer surface and the inner portion of the glass. This tension is what gives tempered glass its coveted strength and granular nature.
High Performance Glass Applications
High performance glass in high demand for a variety of industries and applications, including:
- Military and Government
High Performance Glass From Swift Glass
Swift Glass is a proud industry leader in the production of a variety of high performance glass products. Our experienced and knowledgeable staff are available to provide ultra high-pressure cold cutting, polishing, CNC machining, printing, drilling, and a variety of other manufacturing processes in support of our chemical strengthening and thermal tempering services.
Whatever your project needs, Swift Glass is here to help! For more information on our high performance glass services, visit our website or contact us today.