Glass: The Difference in Clear

Tempered Vs. Laminated Glass: What's Best For Your Business

The type of glass you choose for your business and storefront windows and doors is important. Because of the increased foot traffic near most businesses, there's a higher risk of glass breakage and resulting injuries and lawsuits. That's why it's vital to choose the right glass. Two common options for businesses are tempered and laminated glass. But what's the difference?

Tempered Glass

Increased Strength through Heat Treatment

Tempered glass is a reinforced glass that's typically created through a heat treatment process designed to strengthen it so that it doesn't shatter as easily as something like annealed glass (the type of glass in picture frames). In fact, tempered glass is four times stronger than annealed glass, making it ideal for environments requiring increased safety. It's the type of glass used in the side and rear windows of your vehicle as well as many storefront windows and doors.

Different Shatter Quality

The intense heat treatment process also affects the way that tempered glass shatters. Once the glass is cut into size, it's fed into an oven and heated to an extreme temperature. Then it's rapidly cooled in seconds with high-pressure blasts of air. This compresses the glass, increasing its strength and creating a unique shatter pattern. Rather than breaking into jagged, rough pieces that can cause serious injury, tempered glass shatters into small pieces without jagged edges. That way, even if it's broken, the chance of serious injury decreases.

Laminated Glass

No Shatter

The most lauded quality of laminated glass is that when it's broken, it will stay together in one piece rather than shattering into many pieces. This is achieved by bonding two or more pieces of glass with a thin resin glue film usually made of polyvinyl butyral or PVB. The resin may be applied in between different types of glass sheets such as annealed float glass, tempered glass, colored glass, etc. What makes it unique is the resin film that bonds the glass layers together. This adds an increased layer of security and safety in commercial applications. For example, laminated glass is what's used in your vehicle's windshield and it's often used in storefronts, skylights, and windows of high-rise buildings.

Increased Sound Insulation

Another quality of laminated glass that makes it ideal in many commercial applications is that it adds another layer of sound insulation. The PVB interlayer helps block sound waves and that increases its ability to insulate the area from unwanted noise. 

Contact a commercial window glass repair service for more information.