You can tell by their names that there is a clear difference between standard glass and safety glass. Standard glass is also known as single-strength glass while safety glass provides a greater level of protection if broken. There are appropriate applications for both styles but here is an overview of why safety glass is better.
Glass is made of a combination of soda ash, lime, and sand. Depending on the manufacturer, that combination could vary some. The ingredients are mixed and melted using extremely high temperatures. After that, a professional glass maker will shape and form the substance into its final form. This includes various shapes, sizes, and colors. At that point, the glass will be cooled and then reheated and cooled again in a process called annealing. This process helps increase the strength of the glass while removing internal stresses. This is the process where glass-making professionals differentiate standard and tempered glass.
The annealing process of standard glass is rapid. This allows manufacturers to make more glass products in a small amount of time. One of the main differences between standard and safety glass is that it can be reworked into new shapes and varieties without breaking or shattering. This includes cutting, reshaping, polishing the edges, and drilling holes for a multitude of customizations. However, the faster annealing process makes the glass more susceptible to breaking and when it breaks, the pieces are large, sharp, and hazardous.
The annealing process for safety glass is much slower. This creates a stronger material that is both impact and scratch resistant. When broken, safety glass will not shatter into large, sharp pieces but rather more evenly dispersed, smaller pieces. This is key to preventing injury, which is why it’s usually used for vehicles, buildings, commercial spaces, and screens on electronic devices. The downside of safety glass is that it cannot be reworked once it’s been made.
Why Safety Glass is Better
Safety glass is better than standard glass because ensuring that people are protected at all times is a major priority. The use of safety glass has saved countless lives, especially in vehicle crashes and other kinds of accidents. Overall, safety glass is stronger than standard and is less likely to shatter when impacted.
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