So what makes safety glass so safe for your storefront entryway? Anyone who may be confronted with storefront glass door repair should know what makes safety glass stand out.
What Is Safety Glass?
When selecting safety glass, your choices are usually laminated or tempered glass. Either of these “safety glazing materials” comply with safety glazing codes, so can be used in a variety of locations deemed hazardous, including railings, indoors and others. But the two types of glass are distinct.
Tempered, or Toughened Glass
Tempered glass is manufactured by heating and cooling standard glass in a furnace. The glass is pre-cut and edged before being placed in the furnace. It is heated to about 1200 degrees F and then rapidly cooled. This so-called “quenching” process hardens the glass so that it’s four to five times stronger, and thus more resistant to breaking. When it does break, it breaks in small pieces that are less likely to cause injury.
Laminated glass, as the name implies, is made of two or more layers of glass with a vinyl interlayer between them. The glass tends to stay together when it’s broken. Laminated glass can be cut, and the edges polished. Windshields are typically made of laminated glass, as are any curved glass features in cars or custom-curved glass partitions in buildings.
Laminated glass also blocks UV light, and can help reduce sound, which makes it a good choice for interior doors and conference rooms where you may want to soundproof. Be aware that because it’s difficult to break, you should always provide an emergency exist as a safety feature.
Some types of laminated glass are burglar- and bullet-resistant, and when it is broken, it creates a lot of noise. For these reasons, laminated glass is often used in areas where security is a concern.
It’s also resistant to high winds.
There are numerous other glass products with different pigments, tints, patterns, emissivity and other features. If you’re considering an upgrade of your storefront glass doors, it’s a good idea to meet with an expert who can advise you on the best doors for your property.