Choosing the right window glass type is crucial for the well-being of your property. If you choose the correct glass type, you will save yourself many possible structural and residential issues, like condensation, and mould on the window frames, draughts, and many others. Choosing the right type of window glass for your home or office depends on many different factors, like the exposure of the building, the climate in the area you live in, your financial possibilities, and others. Here’s what you have to choose from:
Float glass windows
This used to be one of the most popular choices for window glass among many manufacturers. It’s not any longer only because nowadays there are so many better and more modern choices that it’s easy to get lost. Anyway, the float glass gets its name from the interesting process used to create it. It’s made from molten glass, from which they create large and thin panels. Once the panels from the molten glass are created, they get passed onto a pool of molten tin. This creates a smooth piece of glass, which is thick and strong.
Annealed glass windows
The annealed glass is actually made from float glass, but the cooling process is different. This type of window glass is being cooled slowly and in a specially controlled manner. This special cooling process is used to reduce the internal stresses inside the glass sheet, and it becomes a lot stronger than the float glass. Nowadays, most manufacturers usually anneal the float glass, and then they proceed with other treatments which make it stronger. The only issue is that the annealed glass usually breaks into big sharp pieces, which is why it’s rarely used in residential buildings.
This kind of glass is made from sheets of annealed glass, which has been reheated beyond the annealing point and then cooled rapidly, but not as rapidly as the tempered glass, which I will mention next. It’s actually a very specific procedure with special requirements which need to be followed strictly. The special cooling process it goes through ensures that the tensile and compressive stresses in the glass are unequally spread across the window glass. This process makes it twice as strong as annealed glass. It breaks into a lot smaller pieces, which makes it a little safer for residential buildings, and there are no risks while cleaning the window glass. But still, just to be safe, the heat-strengthened glass is usually laminated before being installed in buildings.
Fully tempered glass
The tempering is a special process the annealed glass goes through, which makes it about four times stronger. After they cut the annealed glass into the shape and size they needed it to be, they heat it past the annealing point. Once it reaches the needed temperature, the glass is being cooled very rapidly, which practically means that the inside part of the glass remains fluid for some time while the outside is already hardened. Since the centre parts remain fluid for longer, there is a chance for equal amounts of compressive and tensile stresses to form all across the glass, which makes it a lot stronger than all the others. Fully tempered glass is one of the safest options nowadays because it breaks into small round pieces, which reduces the risks of injuries.
The advantages of laminated glass are numerous. Laminated glass is better known for its safety and security, so the interlayer prevents it from shattering on impact. The result is a reduction in safety risks associated with shattered glass fragments, as well as, to some extent, security risks associated with easy penetration. It is highly unlikely that two laminated panels will break simultaneously if a glass panel breaks, so the remaining panel and interlayer will support the broken glass as edge protection until it is replaced or secured.
A glass that is obscured is made with designs or features that are impossible to see through, such as etched or bevelled glass. There is still light leaking through the glass, and you can see shadows through the window, but no one can see you or the inside of your home. These are suitable for bathrooms or other rooms where privacy is needed. You can also use tinted glass if you only need a little obscuration to block some light.
During glass manufacturing, a transparent coating can be applied to the outside of the windows that breaks down dirt and grime while reacting with the sun’s UV rays. When rain falls, the decomposed dirt naturally rinses away. Since the coating has hydrophilic properties, it attracts water over its entire surface, preventing unsightly watermarks. That type of glass can make window cleaning a lot simpler.
Insulated glass is used in double-pane and triple-pane windows. There is a space bar between each pane of glass. Argon or Krypton gas can be added here to provide insulation between the glass panes. By including these gases, the U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient of windows is increased. Both of these indicators measure the windows’ ability to block solar heat rays. If one pane of glass breaks, though, you will lose some gases and, therefore, some protection.
Acrylic refers to chemicals that contain the acryloyl group, derived from acrylic acid, such as polyacrylonitrile and poly(methyl methacrylate). Generally, acrylics are clear, scratch-resistant, dimensionally stable, and rigid. They do not deteriorate in sunlight and are highly adherent, as well as being thermoplastic and easy to form and cut. In addition to being combustible, they are not flexible, are susceptible to stress cracking, and are not solvent-resistant.
With a long list of window glass types to choose from, how do you make your decision? Before you begin shopping for window glass, it’s important to understand the different types available. From low-E and tinted glass to tinted and insulated glass, the variations in the types of window glass available can be overwhelming. In this post, we took a look at some of the most popular window glass types and why you might select one type over another. We do hope our conclusions helped you come to the right decision.