Heat-strengthened glass: What is it, and when should it be used?

January 30, 2024

Glass is versatile, strong, and attractive, serving as a reliable material for various projects. This includes interior design, tech, and architecture.

In terms of interior design, heat-strengthened glass is a great option. Its durability and aesthetic appeal make it perfect for large-scale projects, such as glass balustrades.

Today, Tuffx will dive into the definition and benefits of heat-strengthened glass to help you choose the best option for your home.

What is heat-strengthened glass?

Heat-strengthened glass is a type of safety glass that is processed by controlled thermal treatments to increase its strength compared to normal annealed glass.

This is made from the same materials as standard float glass, consisting of silica (sand), soda ash, and lime.

How is heat-strengthened glass made?

Heat-strengthened glass is heated around 620°C to 650°C, just below its softening point.

The process is closely monitored to ensure the glass doesn’t warp or melt whilst internal changes are undergone.

It then enters a slower cooling process, which differentiates it in strength and appearance from tempered glass. This induces compressive stress on the surfaces of the glass and tensile stress in the centre, enhancing its resistance to thermal pressure and impact.

The advantages of heat-strengthened glass

There are many reasons why heat-strengthened glass is beneficial for interior design. Some of these include:

  1. Enhanced strength: It can withstand higher wind loads, impacts, and external pressures, ideal for structural applications.
  1. Flexibility: Heat-strengthened glass breaks into larger and less sharp pieces, providing safety in the home.
  1. Energy savings: This has better insulation properties, reducing the need for excessive heating or cooling.
  1. Cost efficiency: This is less expensive than tempered glass, perfect for budget applications which require strength and thermal resistance.
  1. Visual appeal: Heat-strengthened glass offers optical clarity, ideal for storefronts or architectural features.

When should heat-strengthened glass be used?

What makes heat-strengthened glass so popular is its versatile application. Some areas where heat-strengthened glass is required include:

Architectural applications

Heat-strengthened glass is commonly used for building facades as it provides structural support whilst maintaining visual clarity, creating an appealing look.

Curtain wall systems also benefit from heat-strengthened glass. Its ability to withstand harsh wind and fluctuating temperatures ensures the longevity and safety of the building.

It is also a great choice for balustrades and railings in both residential and commercial buildings. This combines safety with a modern appearance for a sleek home.

Glass canopies

Building canopies benefit greatly from heat-strengthened glass.

Its strength and durability make it ideal for overhead applications as it protects against the elements whilst allowing natural light to pass through.

High-exposure areas

Commercial buildings often use heat-strengthened glass to protect the front of the building. This reduces the risk of injury to pedestrians in the event of breakage, as it fractures into larger pieces.

This is also a common option for skylights as it offers the required resistance for impact and thermal stress. Many people opt for this glass in their homes for safety and aesthetics.

Automotive and transportation

Besides commercial and residential buildings, heat-strengthened glass is commonly used for side windows and rear windshields on cars.

Its ability to maintain structural integrity whilst resisting impact is crucial for passengers. Buses, trams, and trains also use this for windows for passenger safety.

Choose Tuffx for your heat-strengthened balustrades

Are you looking to add a stunning feature to your home or commercial building? If so, our heat-strengthened glass balustrades are the perfect choice.

This will elevate your stairs or landing area, adding elegance and character. For homes with children or pets, this is especially beneficial due to its safety and integrity.

The transparent nature of glass makes a room feel lighter and more airy, perfect for a minimalist or contemporary interior. Browse our high-quality services today and enquire about your heat-strengthened glass structure.