“Glass: – uncountable is a very fragile material. The hardening process comes with a good solution for it. This kind of activities significantly changes the internal structure, which translates into an increase in strength. Tempered glass is classified as a group of safety glass or “ESG”, “Safety Glass”, “Tempered Glass”.
Change of properties in the hardening process.
The hardening process (glass heating to 600° C and exponential cooling) does not affect the visual aspects of the glass. It is identical as before hardening (possible minimal distortion). The only thing which be changing is physical properties. The thermally treated glass is 5 to 7 times more resistant to breaking down from an unhardened glass of the same thickness. This feature of ESG glass contributed to the fact that the glass ceased to fulfill the role of “filling” only and became a full-fledged construction material. This gave a wide range of opportunities for architects and designers. Full glass structures, without frames. Most often tempered glass is used for the construction of :
- self-supporting glass balustrades;
- partition walls;
- full glass doors;
- step and floors made of glass;
- shower cabins;
- table countertop .
Other features of toughened glass.
Another feature which has a tempered glass is resistance to exponential temperature changes. Thanks to this, it will not fall apart when it is installed in a shower cabin or above a gas stove. Toughened glass, despite its high strength, can of course get damaged. In this case, the glass pane breaks down into many small elements without sharp edges. Safe for living beings. That is why tempered glass belongs to the group of safety glass.
The condition of the correct hardening process is the lack of finishing. Such glass can not be cut or shaped. In order to raise the safety standard of tempered glass, it is possible to glue together two sheets with a special foil. It arises as a VSG-ESG class window. In the event of damage to this type of glass, the resulting glass shards are glued to the inner foil. After the incident the broken glass sheet stays in place. Another feature which characterizes tempered glass is the ability to apply a coating of various metals, which can significantly affect its final appearance .
An example of using tempered glass in the Ghelamco Arena in Belgium.