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Tempered Glass

Tempered glass (sometimes called "toughened" glass) is glass that has been treated so that it is stronger than ordinary glass.  Tempered glass can be up to five or more times stronger than ordinary annealed glass.  It is often intended for bath and shower enclosures, sliding doors, and similar locations where increased strength is required. 

When broken, tempered glass will break into small pieces with rounded edges, rather than the sharp edges that occur when regular glass breaks.  The small fragments help make major injury less likely than ordinary glass.

There are two major methods of making tempered glass:  heat treating and chemical strengthening.  In the heat treating process, the glass is cooled rapidly in a controlled environment.  Most kilns do not have the degree of control necessary to temper glass, so it takes special tempering ovens.

Chemical strengthening, the second way to make tempered glass, involves using a chemical solution to change the characteristics of the glass so that it becomes stronger and less likely to shatter.  The chemical process is generally used where a very thin, strong glass is desired; most window glass is tempered by heat treating rather than chemical strengthening.

Click here for information on de-tempering glass in the kiln.


Copyright 2006 Brad Walker.  All rights reserved.

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Four Corners International, Inc.

4140 Clemmons Road, #320

Clemmons, NC  27012   USA

Copyright 2005-2006 by M. Bradley Walker.  All rights reserved.

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