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Safety Glazing

August 30, 2011

When planning a project there are many types of glazing to choose from, one type is safety glass. Safety glass is a generic term that covers three different types of glass. 

Tempered glass: Tempered glass is a type of glass that is strengthened by heating up a piece of glass and rapidly cooling it. The resulting glass is 4 times stronger than regular annealed glass. When the glass is broken it shatters into small fragments instead of larger shards. Because of the increased strength of the glass, the glass must be first cut to the required size then it can be tempered.


Laminated glass: Laminated glass is made by adhering a thin sheet of clear vinyl between two pieces of regular annealed glass. When laminated glass breaks the inner plastic sheet holds the glass fragments together.


Wired Glass: For many years wired glass was the only safety glass option available. It consists of a thin wire mesh imbedded in a piece of annealed glass before the glass has cooled and hardened. When wired glass is broken the wires hold the glass together. It is the least desirable safety glass option because if a person gets a piece of their body caught in the glass, the wires can cause more damage by trapping the person in the glass.


Locations: Safety glass is required in various places on a project. Typically it is required at doors and windows that are low to the ground, 18″ or lower, at windows within 24″ of a door, and at windows at stairwells. These locations can vary depending on the code that you are required to follow so be sure to always check your code books!


Good luck on your next exam.

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