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Different Types Of The Glass

What is Laminated Glass and What are the Benefits?

Laminated glass is a fantastic alternative to normal glass, offering a tough, robust structure that is hard to break. Laminated glass is suitable for use in many ways, and is a material that is growing in popularity. If you’re thinking of adding glass to your home or business, you should consider installing laminated glass in its place. If you’re unsure what laminated glass is or are unaware of the benefits it holds, Swift Glazing can help. Here, we’ve put together this guide on what laminated glass is, its uses and its benefits.

What is laminated glass?

Laminated glass is constructed of two plies of glass which are bonded together with interlayers to form a permanent bond. The interlayers work to support and hold the glass to create a strong, uniformed layer even when broken. Laminated glass comes in varying thicknesses and can be created using different glass combinations or coatings to provide different qualities, such as low emissions or increased insulation.

What are some of its uses?

Laminated glass provides a very strong, yet transparent layer which makes a great alternative for traditional glass in a variety of uses:

  • For use in buildings where hurricanes or other natural disasters are a high risk

  • As windows for companies or homes at higher risk of break-ins

  • As display cabinets for valuables, such as jewellery stores

  • Aquariums or animal enclosures

  • Glass floors

  • Glass stairs

  • Skylights

  • Glass roofs

  • Also for Shopfronts as well

The robust nature and thickness of laminated glass lend it a whole host of benefits:

  • Increased security:

The strength of laminated glass make it almost impossible to break, so any unauthorised person would struggle to gain entry. Even if a break was to occur, the interlayers holdup the strength of the structure so that widening the gap is extremely difficult to do.

  • Reduced emissions:

Low-emissivity glass can help to reduce heat gain from the sun, which allows air conditioning to be used less frequently and emissions to be reduced.

  • Reduced noise pollution:

Installing a thick piece of laminated glass causes noise waves to become disrupted when they travel through the material, helping to reduce noise pollution.

  • Increased safety:

As the glass doesn’t shatter when broken, there is a reduced risk of someone being cut or injured by shards of glass.

  • Protection from natural disasters:

In the arrival of natural disasters or volatile weather, laminated glass will remain in its frame, reducing the risk of accidents and making a life-threatening situation slightly safer.

  • More design choice:

Laminated glazing is available in many colours, tints or tones, and can be manufactured straight or curved for greater versatility in appearance.

What makes laminated glass shatter-proof?

The plastic interlay of polyvinyl butyral used in between the laminated glass sheets binds the two panes together. It acts somewhat like glue, and this glue keeps the glass stuck to the thin film and prevents it from shattering into thousands of pieces when it breaks.

This is an excellent safety feature which prevents injuries that usually result from jagged, sharp and broken glass pieces.

Offers protection against intruders:

Laminated glass also offers protection against thieves, burglars and intruders. Since the panes do not turn into fragments or leave the thin film they are glued to, they leave no place for anyone to crawl through.

Laminated glass is also superior to annealed glass when it comes to blocking out UV rays and unpleasant noise from the outside.

We distinguish different types of laminated glass based on their ability to resist a specified level of attack. These include:

• Blast-resistance glass

• Fire-resistance glass

• Bullet-resistance glass

• Solar control laminated glass

What is Toughened Glass?

Toughened glass, as its name suggests, is a tough safety glass. It has six times the strength of annealed and laminated glass for the same size and thickness. Due to its method of production, toughened glass is also called tempered glass.

How is Toughened Glass Made?

There are mainly two ways in which glass can be toughened –

  • Tempering Glass with Heat and Cold

Most toughened glass or safety glass is made by tempering, a process in which ordinary glass is heated up to a temperature of around 620°C for some time followed by abrupt cooling using jets of cold air. As a result of this process, the outside of the glass is forced into compression while the inside remains free to float for some time (creating tension on the inside). The higher the thermal expansion of the glass and the lower its thermal conductivity, the higher will be the level of residue stresses, and as a result of this, the stronger will be the resulting glass.

  • Tempering Glass with Chemical Reactions

Normal float glass is submerged in a bath of potassium salt at 300°C. When the salt dissolves, it is indicative of its separating into ions. The potassium ions are now free to replace sodium ions in the surface of the glass. Potassium ions are 30% larger than sodium ions; the process brings the outer surface under compression while the inner surface remains the same. This creates a tension inside and now the force required to break the glass has to be much greater (more than the compressive forces). Hence, this method aims at strengthening the glass by chemical ion exchange.

There are mainly five different types of toughened glass in existence. They are –

  • Clear toughened glass

  • Laminated toughened glass

  • Reflective toughened glass

  • Tinted toughened glass and

  • Frosted toughened glass

Advantages of Toughened Glass

Tempering of glass has a lot of benefits –

  • Toughened glass is about to 6 times stronger than normal float glass. Moreover, the process of tempering does not affect any other property of the glass. Hence, with the same visible light transmission as normal float glass comes simply greater strength.

  • Toughened glass is able to withstand massive differences in temperature (of up to 250°C) whereas normal float glass can handle only up to 40°C

  • Tempering of glass renders it difficult to break and even when it does due to whatsoever reasons, it will fall apart into very small, blunt, cube-like pieces that do not cause fatal injuries

  • Toughened glass is highly resistant to electric and thermal shock.

  • Its high durability makes frequent replacement redundant. Hence, the glass can easily be used for a long, long time.

Application/Uses of Toughened Glass Toughened glass has a host of uses –

  • Toughened glass is typically used in commercial applications where wind, snow and thermal impact make the use of normal glass futile. Moreover, they are also used in high-rise buildings due to their ability to handle heavy load easily

  • They are generally used in the windshield of sports cars that operate on very high speeds.

  • When mixed with tinted glass, laminated glass, insulated glass, etc. toughened glass can be used in various components of a building such as escalator side panels, balustrades, handrails, skylight glazing, etc.

  • Places of national and international importance use bulletproof glass for the safety of VIPs. Bulletproof glass is prepared by combining toughened glass with laminated glass

Looking for world-class, branded glass products? Contact Swift Glazing for personalizing your home and office spaces with all sorts of Smart Glass solutions. Our wide range of toughened glass solutions, be it for automotive, consumer, or commercial purposes, are sure to meet your modern, safety, energy-efficient, acoustic, eco-sensitive glass needs. So, hurry up and explore the world of glass at Swift Glazing.

Toughened Glass vs Laminated Glass- Which is Better?

Except for when the choice between the laminated glass and toughened glass is obvious, like in the case of a car's windscreen, the selection of any one of the two is really up to the personal preference.


As compared to laminated glass, toughened glass is much stronger. Breaking and shattering toughened glass is not easy due to the requirement of a large force. However, the tempered glass breaks into numerous tiny pieces upon strong impact, so the area it is protecting is left exposed when it breaks. Unlike tempered glass, laminated glass holds its position even after it breaks.

There is, however, a downside to laminated glass. Since the laminated glass is not as strong and doesn't have as much break resistance as the toughened glass, even the accidental impacts, such as a stray ball or random flying objects, has more chance of breaking the laminated glass. So, your laminated glass might need frequent replacements if you live in that kind of neighbourhood.

Overhead glass structures:

For overhead glass structures, people usually prefer the laminated glass as it is less likely to break. It won't fall down into hundreds of small glass pieces. Also, when it happens, the replacement of the glass or the whole window becomes urgent.


As for the price, toughened glass is cheaper than the laminated glass on a like-for-like basis, and that's why it is more likely to be offered as a standard option amongst the two.

Sound reduction and UV Resistance:

When compared, laminated glass has a better sound reduction and UV resistance than toughened glass.


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