It is not a new concept that laminated glass and tempered glass are two different types of glass. The distinctions between the two can be as obvious as their appearance or as subtle as how they react when dropped on a hard surface. While both are composed of multiple layers, each with its own purpose, there are several significant differences in composition and structure.
However, it’s far more important to know how these differences translate into usable applications for everyday life. When choosing a type of safety glass for an application such as storefront windows or doors. They have become the favorite materials for a glass garden room in conservatories because of their energy efficiency, sound barrier, and, most of all, durability and design.
The “Laminated” in Laminated Glass
Both laminated and tempered glasses are actually made of multiple layers of glass. However, the way those layers are arranged is where they differ from each other.
When you look at a piece of laminated glass, you can see distinct differences between these layers. They are often imprinted with logos or lettering, making them easier to identify than if they were clear like plain window glass.
In contrast to this, tempered glass is comprised of highly compressed and equally spaced layers that fit together almost seamlessly when installed as a unitary pane. It has no visible separation between its thin sheets of glass.
These separate layers offer several benefits, such as:
- Improved safety both in strength and impact resistance
- Added soundproofing ability to reduce outside noise for receptionists and others working in offices
- Increased energy efficiency due to their barrier against both heat and cold
A single pane of tempered glass is somewhat comparable to a unitary sheet of glass, but it has been through a process of high compression and then rapid cooling to increase strength and resistance. Tempered glass is widely used in construction projects involving structural elements such as elevator shafts, skyscrapers, and buildings where large panes or sheets are required.
Laminated Glass vs. Tempered Glass: Comparing Energy Efficiency
In terms of energy efficiency, both laminated and tempered glass are much more “green” than traditional single-pane windows. With special coatings that help protect from infrared radiation or special gas bubbles added to the interlayer, they function as insulators to retain heat in the winter and keep out unwanted cold air in the summer while still permitting light through.
While it’s true that some of these benefits are only noticed by specialists such as an engineer researching energy conservation, especially when compared to rigid insulation, they all add up during everyday use to make your home significantly more efficient overall.
Laminated vs. Tempered Glass: How They Impact Sound
The truth is that laminated and tempered glasses may provide some soundproofing capabilities. But between the two, laminated glass is more popular for creating a more superior sound barrier. When you want to prevent outside noise and interior sounds from getting into the space or conversations from being overheard outside, this can be a better option than tempered glass.
Moreover, though you may have to pay more for laminated glass, the bonus of its bullet-resistant properties will be well worth it if this is a primary consideration for your business or residence.
Which Shatters More Easily?
Tempered or toughened glass can withstand a lot of surface compression and pressure than regular glass. In fact, it can be five times stronger than the conventional ones in the market. It is not prone to thermal breakage.
However, it doesn’t mean it cannot break. However, when it does, it shatters into thousands of tiny pieces partly due to the many layers of glass that fuse during installation. Although they are countless, many consider them safer since they don’t have the rough pointed edges you may normally see in regular glass shards.
Laminated sheets are also susceptible to shattering. But the pieces might not fall off the floor immediately because of how the interlayers have been attached. Manufacturers use a specific type of resin such as polyvinyl butyral (PVB) to keep these layers properly bonded for a long period even if they are exposed to a significant force, perhaps from an impact.
For larger or more complicated projects requiring high safety from potential breakage, you should stick to tempered glass instead of laminated windows. But for quieter applications like residential replacement and office partitions where these qualities aren’t as essential, you should consider using laminated glass instead.
Laminated and tempered glasses are similar in many respects, but different applications will call for one or the other depending on their needs.