Everything You Need to Know About Obscure Glass

Obscure glass – like frosted glass or satin glass – is any sort of glass which is not completely transparent. This includes glass which has a pattern on it to distort the image seen behind, or glass which has been textured to prevent the things on the other side from being seen clearly.

Perhaps the most common sort of obscure glass is satin glass, which has been chemically treated to stop it from being transparent, while still allowing large amounts of light through. Immediately distinctive with its smooth, frosted appearance, satin glass is a versatile and popular form of obscure glass – though many, many more types exist.

Frosted Glass

What is Obscure Glass?

Obscure glass can be any one of dozens of types of glass, each set apart from ordinary glass due to their partial lack of transparency. Obscure glass of any sort distorts or obscures the items on the other side of the glass, ranging from only very slight distortion to completely hiding the items in question from view, or revealing only silhouettes.

Frosted glass is one such obscure glass type – revealing only a very distorted image of the other side of the glass. For example, people on the other side of the glass may simply appear as roughly humanoid shapes, and be indistinguishable from one another. However, this is not the same as being opaque – obscure glass still allows large amounts of light to pass through it, illuminating an area, while an opaque surface, such as a wall, doesn’t allow any light through.

What Kinds of Obscure Glass are There?

Many kinds of obscure glass exist, from frosted satin glass to textured glass of many patterns and textures. These include decorative glass designs, like patterns incorporating pictures and patterns, as well as purely obscuring glass designed only to provide privacy.

Obscure Glass Designs

Obscure glass can be made in a wide variety of ways, providing a range of effects. The Glass Warehouse are experts in the production of obscure glass and can offer a range including Taffeta, Sycamore, Stippolyte, Pelerine, Oak, Minster, Mayflower, Florielle, Flemish, Everglade, Cotswold, Contour, Charcoal, Chantilly, Autumn and Arctic, as well as a wide range of satin glass and frosted glass patterns to provide obscurity without stopping light from reaching an area.

Different Levels of Obscurity

Different amounts of obscurity can be denoted on a scale from one to five, with one being the least obscure and five being the most obscure. Using this scale, a clock behind a pane of glass with a rating of 1 would hardly be distorted, and could still be seen clearly.

As the ratings increase, it becomes impossible to determine what time the clock is showing, until finally, at an obscurity rating of 5, it becomes difficult to even determine what the item behind the glass is – it can no longer be clearly identified as a clock!

Obscure Glass

Can Obscure Glass be Tempered?

If you are looking into obscure glass, you may not wish to compromise on safety or strength of the glass – so you will need the obscure glass to be tempered.

Luckily, obscure glass can be easily tempered to improve its strength and remove the risk of it shattering into sharp, jagged pieces. Obscure tempered glass requires much more force to break it than ordinary glass does, and breaks into small, rounded cube-like pieces instead of the long shards typical of annealed glass.

This makes obscure toughened glass ideal for use in shower doors or dividers, such as in an obscure glass shower screen, making it much safer than ordinary glass and providing much more privacy.

Obscure glass – including frosted glass – is tempered by heating it to high temperatures, then using jets of cold air to provide a cooling effect, causing the outer layers to cool and contract at a higher rate than the inner material. Thanks to this differential cooling, the glass is placed under patterns of stress which must be forcibly overcome in order to break the glass, greatly increasing the force required to shatter the glass. In addition to this, the stress patterns ensure that the obscure toughened glass breaks into the small rounded pieces typical of tempered glass.

Is Frosted Glass Obscure Glass?

As satin glass (or frosted glass, as it is commonly known) is not fully transparent, it is a sort of obscure glass. Despite having a very high obscurity rating, frosted glass allows light to pass through, keeping an area well-lit when it is installed.

Obscure Textured Glass

Get in Touch with The Glass Warehouse for Obscure Glass and Frosted Satin Glass today!

If you would like to know more about the obscure glass available from The Glass Warehouse, or you would like to place an order or ask for some advice concerning this unusual, specialist glass, you can get in touch with the glass experts at the Glass Warehouse. You can get in contact using our telephone number, 020 8500 1188 or use the contact form on this page! They’ll be happy to help you find exactly what you need!

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