Glass Tempering

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What Does the Glass Tempering Process Involve?

Thousands of years ago a technique now referred to as tempering was discovered, whereby a particular material could be heated to a certain temperature and then quenched in oil or water to provide a higher durability. Glass windows are often exposed to this type of treatment, in fact a modern day glazier will often rely on these resources to provide their clientele with the services that they have to offer.

Are traditional windows still in use?

They are – but because of the higher strength that modern day windows and glass panes provide, they are becoming more and more preferred for commercial and residential buildings alike.

How does the tempering process work?

In order for glass to be tempered it must first be heat treated. Modern glass still uses ancient techniques whereby sand particles and other composites are super-heated until they form a liquid. In this form, the substance can be poured into moulds. Once hardened, the formula becomes what we know as glass.

In the past this would usually be where the manufacturing processes came to an end – but these days, it’s not uncommon for further treatments to take place.

Tempering is one of them and it works by exposing the glass to a particular critical temperature (enough to reheat its composition without causing warping). Once this temperature has been reached, the glass panel will then be quenched or dipped into a liquid formula to allow the atoms to re-solidify.

It’s this process that can help to ensure that the freshly heat treated panel will be able to resist minor damage from impacts, frame pressure and even excessive temperatures (both cold and hot).

Can this process be reinforced even further?

It certainly can – in fact in order to avoid glass repair expenses, many home owners opt to have their windows laminated (or purchase them pre-laminated). The lamination process works by applying a coating of PVC (or similar formula) to the surface of a window. Once dried, this layer can act to strengthen the panel, whilst providing an additional layer of integrity to the structure should the glass shatter or split.

When it comes to tempering, it’s worth noting that there are varying grades of the process available, but the majority of tempered glass windows will display if they have been heat treated – and if so, to which standard. To avoid confusion, it can be a good idea to get in touch with a glazier company to help with understanding which types may be ideally suited for which purpose (with some being usable for tables and others as glass windows).

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