“Tempered glass” and “toughened glass” are both phrases that come up frequently when looking for strong, safe glass. Both seem to have sought-after attributes and versatile uses, but what sets the two apart? What’s the difference between tempered glass and toughened glass?

In truth, there is no difference – the two are the same! Some manufacturers prefer to call their product “tempered glass” and others prefer to call theirs “toughened glass”, which has led to an interchangeability of the terms, but the process of creating them and the attributes which they exhibit are the same.

They are both created through thermal or chemical tempering

Ordinary glass (sometimes called annealed glass) is brittle and fragile, liable to break into long, sharp shards under stress. However, toughened glass (or tempered glass) can be prevented from behaving in this way by heating it for a period of time and rapidly cooling it with the application of jets of air. This causes the interior of the glass plate to contract more than the outside does, creating unequal stress throughout the glass sheet. As glass is considerably stronger under compression than under any other sort of stress, this increases the strength of the piece of glass, and it also prevents the glass from breaking into long, sharp shards.

In order for the glass to break, the compressive stress on the surface must first be overcome, leading to toughened or tempered glass which can be up to 5 times stronger than ordinary annealed glass!

Chemical tempering is a similar tempering principle involving more expensive and time-consuming processes, but it ultimately creates the same result in the glass.

They both exhibit the same traits

As stated above, tempered glass and toughened glass both exhibit much higher strength than ordinary glass, and will resist impacts or changes of temperature which would crack or shatter annealed glass.

In addition to a shared resistance to mechanical damage, toughened glass is able to resist extremes of temperature that other glass types cannot, and is less likely to break during changes of temperature.

If it does break, toughened or tempered glass won’t break into the familiar long, jagged shards seen in common glass either – instead, toughened and tempered glass shatter into tiny cube-like or spherical fragments, making them much more suitable for use in automobile windows, safety glass, balcony doors, shower doors and other applications where glass shards would cause considerable risk to health.

They are both available from Express Toughening

Tempered safety glass and toughened glass are both available from Express Toughening and can be provided to suit a huge range of applications, situations and settings. If you are interested in tempered glass, you would like to know more or you’d like to request a quote, you can get in touch with us on 02085001188 today! The toughened glass experts on the other end of the line will be happy to help you find the perfect tempered glass solution to suit your needs.