What do baseballs, hurricane winds, and burglars have in common? They’re all things that have the strength to shatter standard-strength window glass, and the full list of things that can destroy the glass in your windows is too long to include. Shattered windows are a serious problem: They can allow unwanted guests—like animals, insects, or even burglars—to gain entry to your home, people can hurt themselves on the shards of broken glass, and more. Instead of worrying about how your windows might shatter, however, you can purchase windows made from various types of reinforced glass. Take a look below for some examples!
Also known as safety glass, tempered glass is up to four times stronger than a single pane of annealed glass. Its strength comes from its production process: After being cut to the right size, sheets of glass are heated to over 600° Celsius and blasted with bursts of high-pressure air in a process known as “quenching,” which causes the outer surface to become stronger and harder to break. In fact, thanks to its durability, tempered glass is generally required by building codes for many structures, like sliding glass doors, shower partitions, and more; it can also be found in car windows, diving masks, certain types of cookware, and other items. When it does shatter, tempered glass breaks into small pebbles rather than enormous shards, which are less likely to lead to injuries.
If you want glass that’s been chosen to defend priceless works of art like the Mona Lisa or historical artifacts like the Declaration of Independence, then look no further than laminated glass. This type of reinforced glass is made by bonding two pieces of glass around a middle layer of polyvinyl butyral plastic, which are then heat- and pressure-treated to make it appear like a single sheet of clear glass. Thanks to the center layer of plastic, laminated glass holds together even when shattered and simply develops cracks or fissures in a spiderweb pattern. To measure the strength of laminated glass, it must pass the “large missile impact test” where a nine-pound 2×4 board is fired into the glass at 30 miles per hour in order to simulate hurricane conditions.
For more information about the windows we offer, including the Alaskan window system, visit our website!