What is the difference between toughened and laminated glass?

Whilst toughened glass and laminated glass are both a type of safety glass, superior to the standard variety, there are a number of key differences between them. They each have a separate set of benefits and, as a result, are better suited to certain domestic and commercial applications.

In the following blog, we examine these differences in more detail, taking a look at toughened glass and laminated glass, and highlighting their individual features, qualities, and advantages.

A guide to the two main types of safety glass

Toughened glass

Toughened glass, also known as tempered glass, is manufactured using a controlled thermal process. Essentially, this involves heating the glass in a tempering furnace – until it reaches approximately 650°C – and subsequently removing the glass and allowing it to quickly cool.

The process is designed to improve the overall structural durability of the glass, increasing its resistance to heat and shock (by 400-500%) and significantly reducing the likelihood of it breaking. Toughened safety glass is around 5 times stronger than standard glass and, if subjected to high-pressure impact, it will break into small blunt pieces rather than dangerous pointed shards.

Tough and multi-purposeful, clear toughened glass is ideal for a wide range of domestic and commercial applications. For example, it is commonly used to create kitchen worktops and splashbacks, shower screens, glass shelves, internal partition walls and balustrades.

Laminated Glass

Laminated glass is, essentially, a glass sandwich – made from two panes of glass, with a PVB plastic interlayer – and it is this unique construction that gives it its tough and reliable qualities.

Technically speaking, laminated glass is the same strength as regular glass. However, upon impact, the two panes simply shatter and are held in place by the plastic interlayer. The transparency of the glass is not affected in any way and the triple-layer design improves its ability to withstand stress – thus making it a safe option for glass windows, doors, screens, partitions, walkways and more.

toughened laminated glass

Which type of safety glass is better?

Due to the different ways in which they are constructed, toughened safety glass and laminated glass each have their own set of pros and cons. But that doesn’t mean that one is necessarily better than the other. They are both capable of withstanding high-pressure and heat and, in many cases, they can both be used for the same application. It just depends on your personal preference and the cost.

Over the last few years, a third type of safety glass, called toughened laminated glass, has become increasingly popular with designers and architects alike. This product offers the best of both worlds, combining the strength of tempered glass with the unique construction of laminated. It is difficult to break, it comes in various thicknesses, and it is perfect for both domestic and commercial use.

Toughened Laminated Glass at Express Glass Warehouse (EGW)

EGW is a leading one-stop-shop for all your glass requirements and, as such, we currently stock both clear and low iron toughened glass and toughened laminated glass. Our team of staff demonstrate a wealth of knowledge with respect to both of these products and they are always on hand and happy to help. If you would like to find out more about these different types of safety glass, including which might be better suited to your needs, please feel free to get in touch. Either give us a call on 020 8500 1188 or send an email to info@egw.co.uk and we will respond as soon as possible.

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