Safety glass comes in different types Toughened (or Tempered) safety glass and laminated safety glass and each type has pro’s and con’s.
Toughened safety glass is probably the most well known and is made by taking normal annealed glass and passing it through a furnace at approx 600 degrees then quenching it with a blast of cold air, this makes it very strong 5 times stronger than normal glass, when toughened glass does break it shatters into millions of tiny relatively harmless pieces, toughed glass cannot be cut so it is only available made to order. used in domestic glazing, car windows, and thicker balustrades and it can be drilled and processed like normal glass before the toughening process. As it is normal glass that has been tempered, it is available in a wide range of thicknesses from 4mm to 25mm and in clear, tinted, solar control, low-e, low iron and a wide range of obscured.
Laminated safety glass made by bonding 2 (or more) layers of normal annealed of glass together with a polyvinyl butyral layer, this special inter layer is flexible but strong enough so that when broken the layers of glass stay together and prevent serious injury, this is used in places like large shop windows, roof lights and car windscreens, unlike toughened glass, standard laminated glass can be cut to size and so it is kept in stock ready for use, although the range is slightly more limited to clear, tinted, solar control, low-e, and a select few obscured.
The pros and cons…. Because of its make up, laminated glass is thicker than its Toughened counterpart so is a bit heavier too. Toughened glass has a higher tensile strength so its up to 5 times stronger than laminated, laminated will stay intact when it breaks opposed to toughened which will shatter and collapse. Clear laminated glass is kept in stock so can be supplied at short notice, whereas toughened glass is lighter can be made in obscured, but is order only so takes approximately 5 days to be made…..