26 Oct Safety Glass: Tempered Glass vs Laminated Glass

In any type of project, be it residential or commercial, laminated glass and tempered glass prove to be the best-in-class break-resistance solutions in terms of safety glass. Standing as an excellent option for home, business and vehicle owners seeking enhanced security and safety of their glass, laminated and tempered glass are both robust, durable, shatter resistant and have undergone specialized manufacturing process.

Safety glass
Safety glass refers to a range of glass types that have been processed, strengthened or reinforced to make them less prone to breakage or shattering, turning them safer when they are broken. Safety glass should not splinter into large shards when broken. There are two common types of safety glass namely tempered glass and laminated glass.

Tempered Glass
Tempered glass is a monolithic piece of glass manufactured through a process of controlled thermal or chemical treatments to increase its strength; referred to as tempering. It is very robust and in case of breakage, it splits into small, almost regularly shaped pieces with no long sharp cutting shards which could potentially harm people around. Tempered glass can be up to four times stronger than typical annealed glass of the same size and thickness.

Pros of Tempered Glass

  • Relatively cheaper compared to laminated glass
  • Wind resistant
  • Withstands extreme temperatures
  • Tempered glass can take a higher load and deflects further before breaking
  • During breakage, Tempered glass shatters into rounded cubes rather than pointy shards preventing potentially serious injuries; and can easily be cleaned, swept away or vacuumed
  • Tempered glass is commonly used in big windows, skyscrapers, automotive glass, monitor screens (on computers or phones) and in-home appliances.

Cons of Tempered Glass

  • Alterations or modification cannot be made after tempering process. (Limited customization because once strengthened, the glass cannot be cut easily without risks of shattering
  • Even if it is stronger than ordinary glass, it does not feature the toughness offered by the laminated glass.

Laminated Glass
Laminated glass consists of two or more glass sheets joint together with plastic or PVB plastic film to which the glasses adhere to under specific heat and pressure conditions. Once sealed together, the glass ‘sandwich’ behaves as a single unit. When laminated safety glass breaks, the broken glass sticks to the plastic or PVB film rather than falling to the floor and creating a potential mess and health hazard.

Moreover, Laminated glass blocks nearly 99% of the Sun’s harmful, effectively screening out radiation and preventing the glass from fading. It also provides high sound insulation and helps with soundproofing.

Pros of Laminated glass

  • In case of breakage, its pieces are held together minimizing risks of injury
  • Burglar Proof as breaking it involves a lot of effort and creates a lot of noise
  • Sound proof in high traffic and noisy areas
  • Withstands severe weather

Cons of Laminated glass

  • More expensive than Tempered glass
  • Requires longer lead times

Laminated glass vs Tempered Glass
There exist different situations which require the use of laminated glass instead of tempered glass, and vice versa:

  • In terms of security, Laminated glass is especially useful for commercial glass. The extra layer of vinyl, or plastic, between the panes creates a barrier that’s difficult to break through, thus keeping your business safe against intrusions and harsh weather.
  • In terms of safe interior glass, Tempered glass is a perfect glass solution for inside your home, for instance regarding glass for tub and shower doors. It is very easy to clean and often cheaper than laminated glass solutions.

Discover below a short video about the pros and cons of Tempered vs Laminated Glass: