When selecting replacement glass for your store, you will be given a choice of tempered or laminated glass. Knowing the benefits and usages of both will help you make the right decision.
Tempered glass is created by using high heat and pressure to chemically bond together several layers of glass into a thick, shatterproof layer. Clarity is typically maintained fairly well throughout the glass, although there can be a slight distortion depending on the finished thickness of the tempered glass.
The main benefit of tempered glass is that it can withstand a lot of force. This makes it less likely to crack due to pressure, such as structural stress or major temperature fluctuations. Tempered glass also doesn't shatter in the event that it does break. Instead, it breaks apart in chunks, which greatly reduces the chances of injury from a broken window.
Tempered glass is not completely impact-resistant. It can be punched through by a bullet or broken into pieces if struck hard enough. This means it doesn't make the best security glass, but it is an excellent choice for interior windows such as around office cubicles or for use in glass railings. It is also less expensive compared to laminated glass, so it is sometimes used for upper-floor windows where security is less of a concern.
Laminated glass is also made of multiple layers of glass pressed together, but there is a resin layer between each layer. This creates a very durable glass that is difficult to break, even under impact. When done correctly, the laminating layers result in minimal distortion so the view is clear.
Security is the main benefit of laminated glass. It can withstand breakage from pressure, temperature changes, and impacts. Laminated glass is used for bulletproof windows as well as for the front windshields of vehicles. Much like tempered glass, it also doesn't shatter when broken, and at most develops cracks or breaks into chunks. The main difference is the chunks don't fall apart but are held in place by the laminated layers.
Laminated glass is one of the more expensive options, so it is almost exclusively used where security is a concern. This includes storefront windows as well as glass entry doors. It may also be used as a safety or security glass indoors, such as around a cashier booth.
Contact a commercial glass installation service, such as Boulevard Glass & Metal Inc, to learn more