When choosing glass for installation in your business, you need something that will provide strength and security not only for you and your employees, but for your customers as well. Two common types of safety glass used in commercial glass installation are tempered glass and laminated glass. Here are the major advantages and disadvantages of both.
Tempered glass has been treated or "tempered" through a high heat process to add increased strength to the glass. Once the glass has been tempered, it's much more difficult to break than something like annealed glass--the type of glass you might find in a picture frame--for example. In fact, the heat tempering process makes tempered glass four times as strong as annealed glass. The heat treatment process also changes the nature of the glass, specifically in the way that it shatters. When tempered glass is broken, it won't break into sharp jagged pieces that might be dangerous or even deadly. Instead, tempered glass shatters into smaller and smoother pieces that don't have jagged edges.
Tempered glass can't be resized or re-cut once it's gone through the heat process so it must be cut to size in the factory beforehand. Also, any holes that must be drilled or any special polishing must be completed before the tempering process. Tempering glass is also vulnerable at the edges where tensile strength is the greatest.
The biggest advantage of laminated glass is that it won't shatter and fall when broken. Though it can break, it will stay in one piece. This is achieved by applying a thin layer of resin glue film between two pieces of glass, bonding them together. The film is typically composed of PVB or polyvinyl butyral. This massively improves the safety and security of the glass. A window that won't shatter is a window that can keep an intruder out and keep a customer safe. Laminated glass is the same type of glass used in the windshield of your vehicle.
The biggest drawback of laminated glass is the cost. The glass requires more material and a much more involved manufacturing process and that results in a higher price tag. On average, laminated glass costs around $10 to $20 per square foot compared to an average of $12 to $14 per square foot for tempered glass. However, many buyers consider the added safety worth the cost, especially in the right application.
If you need to replace glass in your office, talk to a supplier, like Boulevard Glass & Metal Inc, to understand the best material for your needs.