Glass is becoming increasingly popular as a focus feature in both commercial and residential construction projects thanks to its practical and versatile characteristics, as well as its sleek, modern aesthetics. Its uses are endless with glass being used for a range of applications such as balconies, balustrades, staircases, shop fronts and even flooring.

When selecting glass for a project, you may not be aware of all the different types of glass available and the various treatments it undergoes to enhance its properties.

Annealed glass is also known as standard glass. Annealing is a process that enhances the durability of the glass and helps to relieve any present internal stresses. Annealed glass is much softer than other types of glass, so it can be easily cut and bent meaning it’s usually the raw material glass manufacturers, like Specialist Glass Products, use.

Annealed glass is cheaper to buy than toughened and laminated glass, so some may decide to opt for it if strength and safety do not need to be considered. If annealed glass breaks, it shatters into longer, jagged shards – which can be dangerous and cause injury. As an example, annealed glass might be used for a small basement or shed window or decorative features incorporated into furniture.

If however, you need something which offers a greater level of security and safety then toughened and laminated may be better options. Known as ‘safety glass’, in the event of the glass getting smashed, the risk of injury is lower because of the way the glass shatters. Toughened glass is around four times stronger than annealed glass because of the tempering process where it’s subjected to intense heating and rapid cooling, which creates a tough outer layer that can withstand impacts. Laminated glass is manufactured to have a thin layer of plastic in between two panes of glass, meaning that if it breaks it doesn’t shatter.

For commercial and residential projects where safety is essential many choose to have annealed glass toughened to increase strength and enhance safety.

Glass is a wonderful, adaptable material and there are various types of glass you can use, depending on your individual requirements. If you’d like any additional information on toughened, laminated or annealed glass, contact our friendly team.

If you found this interesting, why not take a look at our recent blog on whether toughened or laminated glass is best to use around the home?