What is something that is hard enough to protect us, but shatters easily? What is something that is completely transparent, but is made solely from opaque components? What is something that acts like a solid, but is actual liquid? The answer is: Glass!
Glass is one of the world’s oldest and most versatile man-created materials known for both its strength and versatility… even if it is a bit of a riddle. Without glass, our lives would look much different!
The list below is only a fraction of the ways that glass is used in our everyday lives:
- Packaging (packaged food, drinks, cosmetics)
- Tableware (glasses, cups, bowls)
- Residential Construction (windows, doors, facades)
- Appliances (oven doors, microwaves, computers, phone screens)
- Automotive (windshield, lights)
- Medical Technology
- Fibre Optic Cables (used to carry information)
- Renewable Energy (solar panels, turbines)
4 Common Types of Fabricated Glass
Did you know that these products are created using different types of glass? Although the basic glass manufacturing process is similar for all four main types of fabricated glass (see our article on how is glass made), different types of glass have very different properties making them each suitable for different applications.
Annealed glass is formed by very slowly cooling the glass during the float glass manufacturing process. Annealed glass has many benefits including it is very resistant to impact and thermal stress. Annealed glass breaks into large, irregular shards.
Heat Strengthened Glass:
Heat strengthened glass heats to 1200°F. and is then force-cooled slowly. Heat strengthened glass is made by compressing the surface and edges of the glass. Heat strengthened glass is roughly twice as strong as annealed glass!
Tempered glass, sometimes called toughened glass, heats to 1200°F and is force-cooled quickly to enable tempering to occur. Tempered glass is 4 to 5 times stronger than standard annealed glass.
Unlike annealed glass, tempered glass shatters into tiny fragments with rounded edges to ensure injury is at a minimum. Tempered glass can also withstand high temperatures, making it ideal for applications in kitchens and bathrooms.
Laminated glass is exactly what the name implies. Two or more layers of glass are separated by a bonded interlayer of plastic. Laminated glass allows a decorative film, coating or opaque color or fabric textile to be positioned between the glass for aesthetics. Laminated glass is often used when UV reduction is important because it is an energy efficient material. It can also be used for sound insulation.
At Wakefield Equipment, we are endlessly fascinated with how glass alters our lives. We strive to help glass manufacturers do what they do best. Our line of glass manufacturing equipment is designed to save time and money. Give the experts at Wakefield Equipment a call with all of your glass and material handling equipment needs.