There are various types of glass that are used in the construction industry serving a wide range of functions. Here we’ll mainly discuss the basic characteristics of 4 different types of glass substantially used in the our industry.

The 4 basic types of glass include:

  • Annealed Float Glass
  • Laminated Safety Glass
  • Toughened Safety Glass and
  • Insulated Glass

Annealed Float Glass

Annealed Glass is commonly referred to as “plate” glass or “window glass”. The term, “anneal”, is mainly used to describe the glass-cooling process that is performed at a fabricator’s float plant. This is the only process undergone by the glass making it the cheapest type. The glass can be cut, drilled into and polished without the risk of internal stresses that would cause it to shatter. Annealed Glass offers no safety features, it breaks into random shards that can cause serious injury. Annealed Glass is commonly used in windows, picture frames and for interior applications.

Annealed Glass includes patterned obscure (OBS) options that obscures the view, allowing for privacy, without the loss of natural light. Obscure Glass is mainly used in bathroom windows.

Annealed Glass also includes glass with a visible steel mesh embedded in both clear (Georgian Wire Plate) and obscure ( Georgian Wire Cast) glass.

Laminated Safety Glass

Laminated Safety Glass is commonly referred to as Shatterproof (SX), Intruder proof and/or PVB glass. Laminated safety glass is manufactured from two or more sheets of annealed float glass bound together with one or more PVB (Polyvinyl Butyral) interlayers, a glass sandwich if you may. The tear-resistant plastic vinyl keeps the glass from breaking apart, when a break does occur the glass is kept intact offering both safety and security to your home and business. Laminated Safety Glass has become an industry standard in the use of windshields for this very reason. Laminated Safety Glass provides high sound insulation and blocks ultraviolet light transmission. Laminated Glass can be cut, drilled into and polished. Laminated Glass is used in doors, windows, aquariums and display cases.

Certain types of laminated glass can even qualify as burglar and bullet-resistant glass.

Laminated Safety Glass come in various different colours and shades, each offering different characteristics; examples include Low-E-, Silver & Bronze Reflective- , Cool Grey or Bronze and White Translucent Glass etc.

Toughened Safety Glass

Toughened Safety Glass is also known as Tempered Glass. Toughening is a process where Annealed Float Glass is heated to approximately 700° C and rapidly cooled, to lock the glass surfaces in a state of compression and the core in a state of tension, making the glass up to 5 times stronger than normal Annealed Float Glass. Toughened Safety Glass (TSG) is ideally suited to resist thermal shock with tensile strength (the ability to bend without breaking), whereas Annealed or Laminated Glass may be susceptible to fracture. Cutting, drilling and edge working are done prior to the toughening process, after the glass has undergone the process it cannot be changed. If tempered glass breaks, it shatters into thousands of rounded cubes rather than shards, offering safety but no security to your home and business. Toughened Safety Glass is used in Frameless Doors, Framed and Frameless Shower, some standard Sliding Doors, large Shopfronts, Escalators, Balustrades etc.

Insulated Glass

Insulated Glass (IG) is commonly also known as Double Glazing Glass. Insulated Glass is a combination of two sheets of glass spaced apart with a spacer bar and sealed to form a single unit with an air space in between. Insulated Glass units are specifically “made-up” of the glass chosen by the architect as the use of different types of glass in an Insulated Unit offers different traits and energy efficiency, this also permits different pricing. When comparing Double Glazing quotations always make sure that both companies used the same glass in the double glazing units, comparing apples to apples. The safety and security of the Insulated Glass units are dependable on the glass “make-up” chosen. Insulated Glass units are used for Thermal Insulation, Energy Saving and Noise Reduction.

The type of glass used in a building is specified by the architect, as there are certain efficiency rules that need to be applied based on the total buildings’ surface size. This is not and can not be calculated by the glass and aluminium company. Jaycee Glass & Aluminium will always quote according to the architects specification when it is within regulation, as set out by AAAMSA (Association of Architectural Aluminium Manufacturers of South Africa) and SAGGA (South African Glass and Glazing Association), should the architect not specify the glass type to be used, regulation will be followed. If the client wants to make changes to the architects specification, we require the instruction, in writing, as changing the specifications may result in the refusal of an occupation certificate for your house and/or business premises which we will not take liability for.

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