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HEAT TREATED GLASS


Heat-treated glass is glass that has been processed through a tempering oven to increase its strength to resist impact, mechanical loads and thermal stress breakage. There are two distinct heat-treated glass products, heat-strengthened and fully tempered.

 

HEAT TREATMENT PRINCIPLE

Glass can fracture when its surfaces or edges are placed into tension. Under these conditions inherent surface or edge fissures may propagate into visible cracks.

The basic principle employed in the heat treating process is to create an initial condition of surface and edge compression. This condition is achieved by first heating the glass, then cooling the surfaces rapidly. This leaves the center glass thickness relatively hot compared to the surfaces. As the center thickness then cools, it forces the surfaces and edges into compression. Wind pressure, missile impact, thermal stresses or other applied loads must first overcome this compression before there is any possibility of fracture.
 

SAFETY

Fully tempered glass is used in many applications because of its safety characteristics. Safety comes from strength and from a unique fracture pattern. Strength, which effectively resists wind pressure and impact, provides safety in many applications. When fully tempered glass breaks the glass fractures into small, relatively harmless fragments. This phenomenon called "dicing," markedly reduces the likelihood of injury to people as there are no jagged edges or sharp shards.

Fully tempered glass is a safety glazing material when manufactured to meet the requirements of the ANSI Z97.1 Standard and Federal Standard CPSC 16 CFR 1201. Federal Standard CPSC 16 CFR 1201, as well as state and local codes, require safety glazing material where the glazing might reasonably be exposed to human impact. This includes doors, tub and shower enclosures, side lights, and certain windows. Applicable building codes should be checked for specific information and requirements.

HANDLING AND INSTALLATION

Tempered glass should receive the same care as annealed glass. Unfortunately, familiarity with the greatly improved strength of tempered glass may mislead people to exert less care in handling it. Careless handling and improper installation sometimes produce edge damage. Delayed breakage can ensue when edge-damaged tempered glass is subjected to a moderate thermal of mechanical stress. Full penetration of the compression layer will likely produce instantaneous total fragmentation of tempered glass. Hence, tempered glass cannot be cut or modified following heat treatment.

IMPERFECTIONS

Inclusions in glass originate from impurities in the batch or cullet, or are combined from furnace refactories. Common forms of inclusions include aluminous stones, iron stones, and silicon. Nickel sulfide stones are uncommon, microscopic defects in glass, and may cause breakage. Delayed breakage may occur when a nickel sulfide stone is present near the center of the glass thickness.

The tempering process rarely introduces imperfections into glass. The basic glass may contain bubbles, vents, chips, and inclusions which, if accepted or not revealed by inspection before tempering can cause breakage in the initial heating or final quench operations. If inclusions are not eliminated by self destruction during the tempering process, in rare cases they may lead to failure at a later time.

 

 

 

 

 

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