Toughened Glass: The Facts

Toughened glass panels that meet Australian Standards are the only types of glass panels you should be considering for your home.

When you choose Trade Glass Depot’s toughened glass, you can be sure that your glass panels, hardware, and their fixings will be of the highest quality – and certified to Australian Standards. During our in-house testing, our glass panels and hardware actually exceed those standards, retaining perfect clarity and looks thanks to the extra steps we insist on during manufacturing to minimise internal imperfections. Our use of high quality ‘raw float’ glass to begin the toughening process ensures that the resulting toughened panels are of the highest quality possible.

What is Toughened Glass?

‘Toughened’, ‘Tempered’, ‘Heat Treated’ or ‘Safety’ glass is manufactured in such a way that its surface becomes up to 5 times stronger than standard glass of the same thickness. It is very strong and impact resistant. Each panel has undergone a special heating and cooling process which means that between the stronger outer surfaces, the glass has internal stresses which allows the whole panel to break into safer small chunks rather than long sharp shards.

For more information on the benefits of toughened, read our post talking about this here!

Breakage, Exploding & Failure of Toughened Glass

NOTE: Though toughened glass can withstand impacts far better than standard (‘float’) glass, it is not unbreakable! 

Standard Glass Breakage

Toughened Glass Breakage

Every so often we all see the TV running a story about an apparent ‘random’ exploding oven door, patio table, shower cubicle or pool fence panel.

Spectacular as they are, the breakages are invariably the result of metal-to-glass expansion, poor installation, an ageing or insufficient mounting system or an imperfection in the panel that the human eye cannot identify in cheaper panels. 

However, the vast majority of breakages occur because of damage to the edges and corners of the panels during handling and installation – some of which can take hours to become evident.

Note: The corners and edges of each panel of glass are the most vulnerable to damage, causing the panel to completely shatter

Why Do So Few of TGD’s Glass Panels Suffer a Breakage?

Because we provide the best advice and the best products available. Our attention to set-out and planning detail is second-to-none. The combination of using only the highest quality raw material ‘float glass’ and extra factory de-stressing helps minimise the chances of impurities being present.

It’s important to get Trade Glass Depot’s advice about the size and depth of footings, wind rating planning and spigot strengths etc. For instance, a toughened glass panel will only break between spigots if it is not aligned in those spigots properly or the spigots have moved over time. Although spigots and insulators are a ‘fixed point’ on glass panels, our thermal insulators allow for problematic expansion. TGD’s Frameless Glass Panel spigots and hardware are all engineered to allow for expansion and contraction. 

Even if your project is in a high wind area or a cyclone region, Trade Glass Depot’s stringent product testing for loads and deflection will put your mind ease. In addition, our friendly Sales team are experts in both planning and installation of all manner of projects so they can guide you through the whole process – and will specify all the ‘nice-to-haves’ and all the ‘got-to-haves’ that will be required to create a successful, easily-completed and long-lasting job.

  • When handling glass panels, ensure you have a working ‘buddy’, a firm grip, flat ground with no obstacles and be careful not to ‘ground’ the panel on concrete, metal or another piece of glass
  • Store your glass panels upright on timber and use foam or cardboard to separate panels
  • Don’t attempt to cut, shape, modify or drill a hole in toughened glass – it will shatter!
  • Check your panels – any nicks or chips in tempered glass provide a weak point of defect which could possibly cause the whole panel to fail

How do I avoid a breakage?

  • Don’t purchase glass panels without an Australian Standards ‘AS’ stamp. They may have impurities, not last very long and will not gain building approvals
  • Obtain good advice from the outset. A good example is the fact that heat alone will not cause a toughened glass panel to break – but thermal expansion around a fixed point, like a post or frame, can cause a panel to shatter if installation is poorly conducted. This happens when the panel and fixed point expand or contract at different rates and create a stressed area. Mis-aligned and ‘out-of-square’ panel can binding or become stressed after assembly causing a panel to break 
  • Make sure your lawnmower doesn’t flick up a stone or gravel towards your pool fence or balustrade
  • Ask for a CSI Global Certificate

Need help with Toughened Glass?

With the highest quality glass available on the market, you can breathe a sigh of relief whenever you order glass panels with us knowing your product will be resistant to breakages. Request a free quote with us today!

Want to know more about toughened glass? Read our post about the various benefits of installing toughened glass in your home.

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