Breaks like glass.
Glass has a reputation for being fragile and breakable. The footballer Vincent Kompany for example was dubbed “der gläserne Mann”, the man of glass, by Hamburg SV supporters at the start of his career because he got injured from the slightest touch. But is the fragile reputation of glass true? Let’s take a closer look together.
Standard flat glass is indeed very fragile, but there are various techniques that can be used to make glass safe and virtually unbreakable. The most spectacular application is bulletproof glass, but the most common techniques are laminated glass and tempered glass.
What is laminated glass?
Laminated glass is also commonly referred to as safety glass, and both names give a good indication of what it is about.
Laminated glass consists of two or more glass layers connected to one or more PVB foil layers. This transparent foil ensures shards of glass do not fall apart when the glass breaks, but remain attached to the foil. The most well-known application of laminated glass is undoubtedly in the windscreen of a car. Even after a particularly bad impact, a windscreen will crack, but it will never break.
In the construction industry, laminated glass is used when safety is the number one priority. For example, the glass balustrade of a terrace, glass stairs, glass floors, skylights, etc.
An additional advantage of the unbreakability of laminated glass is in preventing burglars. The thickness of the glass panels and the foil are the most important strength factors of a pane of glass. Naturally the profiles must have the same resistance qualities as the glazing for optimal protection against burglary.
What is Tempered Glass?
Tempered glass is glass that has undergone thermal treatment, which makes it no less than five times stronger than “normal” single or double glass of the same thickness. Tempered glass is particularly impact-resistant, and if a break does occur, the glass panel will shatter into thousands of tiny grains.
Here too we find the most famous example of its use in the automotive industry. The side windows of a car are usually made of tempered glass, and you have undoubtedly seen images of a smashed side window shattering into countless grains.
These small grains greatly reduce the risk of deep cuts, which is why tempered glass is ideal for glass doors or walls, shower doors, bus shelters, etc.
Every pot needs a lid.
Choosing the right type of glass (laminated glass or tempered glass), the right thickness of the glass, and the right thickness of the foil means making the correct choice for the safest option in any application of your construction project.
Safety is one of the basic functions of glass, just like the sun protection, acoustic and insulating properties. These can be combined with each other to provide added value for the end customer. We follow the NBN S 23-002 standard to know when safety glass must be installed.