What’s the difference between toughened and laminated glass?

Both Laminated and Toughened glass are Safety Glass – so what’s the difference?

Safety Glass is a term that most people have heard but what is it really?

In short safety glass is specifically designed to be less likely to break when struck. It is not only stronger than ordinary annealed or float glass but the safety element is in the way it breaks.

The two main types of safety glass are Laminated and Toughened:

Laminated Safety Glass

  1. Two sheets of ordinary annealed glass bonded together with a laminated strip
  2. When it breaks it makes a spider web break instead of breaking in long dangerous shards
  3. Can be cut onsite by glazier so therefore can usually be measured and installed in the one site visit

Toughened (or tempered) Safety Glass

  1. Is more than four times stronger than ordinary annealed glass
  2. When it breaks it shatters like a windscreen into small blunt pieces
  3. The toughening process requires the glass be placed in a heat furnace and is subjected to intense heat followed by rapid cooling.
  4. Once toughened it can not be cut down or altered in anyway. Therefore when using toughened glass your glazier will measure first (to get exact size) and install at a later date (usually a 7 day turnaround)

When laminated glass breaks it stays intact. When toughened glass breaks it shatters like a windscreen.