Shatter Science: The Secret of Toughened Glass

Every engineer quickly learns that they can’t approach a project with just one solution in mind. Safety glass is a good example, as most people get confused if it really is able to do what manufacturers say it can do.

Never Hard Enough

The biggest source of misunderstanding is the fact that despite the name toughened glass, it still shatters. How can something be safe if it can still break, and breaks into a thousand sharp pieces that can cut people?

This is actually one of the biggest problems the first manufacturers of safety glass had to overcome. They needed to realise that no material is indestructible, and that whatever they come up with will break given enough force and pressure. All they could do is to make it tough as possible with the technology they had at the time.

Once they overcame that mental roadblock, they needed to find a way to ensure that the glass doesn’t harm anyone once it does break. Figuring out that puzzle required intense study into how glass shatters. The only danger shattered glass poses is if it forms into shards with long and jagged edges that can cut and pierce skin. If designers can control how the glass breaks, and prevent it from turning into jagged shards, they can make it safer.

Shattering Glass

The types of toughened or tempered safety glass we use go through a series of heating and cooling procedures that not only strengthen the glass, but also bonds its molecules in a special way. When safety glass breaks, it shatters into small chunks with almost no sharp edges. People still need to take care in handling them, but the danger of injuries is significantly lower.

When engineers first began the project of creating toughened glass, the goal wasn’t to make an indestructible material, but to create a safer one. The final product combines two different solutions to reach that goal, and it’s safe to say, they succeeded.

Safety glass can be used as doors, windows, and even as shelves. To know more about how you can use our toughened safety glass, contact us today. Perth City Glass aims to help our clients secure their properties.

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