Tempered glass (generally known as toughened glass) is commonly used for glass canopies, but what exactly is tempered glass?
Is it used for all glass canopies?
Why is it used rather than regular glass?
Let’s take a look into what tempered glass canopy is and why it is the go-to material for glass canopies.
What Is Tempered/Toughened Glass?
Toughened safety glass is a type of specially designed safety glass that is processed with chemical treatments or controlled thermal treatments in order to increase its strength. When toughened glass is compared with normal glass, it is much stronger and less likely to break.
When the glass is tempered, the outer surfaces are put into compression and the inner surfaces into tension. Since the inner layer of the glass contracts more, this causes compressive stresses on the glass surface, which is balanced in the body of the glass.
Any surface flaws within the glass will be pressed closed with these compressive forces and the core layer of the glass will be free of any defects. This makes the glass less likely to crack or have any weaknesses.
When tempered glass is manufactured, it must be cut to size before it is toughened. This is because after it is toughened it cannot be re-worked. It must be cut and processed into the desired shape, then put through the toughening process.
Are All Frameless Canopies Made With Tempered/Toughened Glass?
So, is tempered glass the only option for frameless glass canopies or can canopies be made from other materials?
Tempered glass is almost always used for glass canopies and, in fact, safety tempered glass is the standard for both durability and safety reasons.
Toughened glass can be used if a glass canopy is less than three metres from the ground. However, if it is over three metres then the canopy needs to be made with toughened laminated safety glass.
CIP toughened laminated safety glass is designed so that when it breaks it will not break into shards – it will shatter into small pieces like tempered glass however due to the laminated layer it will hold all the glass in place and not explode everywhere.
This is much safer, especially for a canopy that could potentially break with someone beneath it. The granular chunks of the broken glass are much less likely to cut someone and cause injury.
CIP toughened laminated safety glass is a great choice for these types of canopies. They contain two or more sheets of toughened glass, which is bonded together by either a multiple or single interlayer.
This makes the glass much stronger than toughened glass and it is used in a lot of different applications – including floors, balustrades without handrails, staircases/treads and much more.
Toughened or tempered glass is the go-to material for glass canopies, mainly for safety reasons. A broken glass canopy without tempered safety qualities would be very dangerous if it were to break – but a tempered safety glass canopy could break into blunt small pieces so that no one would be cut or injured. Plus, this material is stronger and stands up to the elements better, making it the all around better choice.