Glass is glass, right? You put it in windows, and it lets the light through. It would be nice if it was that straightforward, but like most things in life, it doesn’t quite work like that.
Glass comes in many guises, to fit a million different uses and preferences, just like your daily coffee has a hundred different variations.
Take a look at our list to find out more…
Toughened and Tempered Glass
When glass is heat treated to over 600 degrees, and then quickly cooled, it becomes harder to break. This process creates tension in the inner layer and compression on outer surface, hence making it very strong.
Add one or more interlayers of Polyvinyl butryal to toughened glass, for an extra layer of safety. Categorized by the spiders web that appears when glass is shattered, it’s a useful choice for any area that is at risk from flying objects – think school yards!
This is the term given to glass that has not been heat treated or coated. Think of it as the basic level glass, a blank canvas to start other processes from.
Fire Resistant Glass
This type of glass is often seen in commercial properties, health and educational institutes. It’s categorized by the wire mesh inside that helps hold it together. The other alternative is much nice to look at, and consists of transparent glass with an interlayer. When subjected to heat, this middle layer foams up and absorbs heat.
Also known as IG, double or triple glazing, this type of glass is commonly used in many properties to lower heat loss though your windows.
Low-E Value Glass
You may see this on panes and never really known what it refers to. The E stands for emissivity, alluding to its thermal effectiveness. Thin transparent layer on top of the glass absorbs energy before reflecting it back into the room. Mystery solved!
If you are using glass for aesthetic reasons, coloured glass is likely to feature. This adds an extra dimension to your glazing, particularly when the sun shines through. Your very own rainbow…
Great for cutting back on the labour needed to keep your glass spotless, this type of glass is coated with a UV light activated layer which acts to break down dirt on the surface. Rai then washes it clean away! If you have hard to reach windows, consider this.
If your property is in a noisy area, acoustic glass is essential to cut down the noise you hear inside. It works by reflecting the noise back out, courtesy of a special laminated layer.
Low Iron Glass
Iron is one of the substances used in glass, but it can give a green tone to your glazing. If you don’t want this, and are looking for a way to let in more natural light, consider low iron glass. It’s extra transparent and virtually colourless.
If you’re looking for something a bit special, go for decorative glass. The technique known as ‘acid-etching’ or ‘French embossing’ adds designs to glass, whereas sandblasting gives a frosted look.
What type of glass you choose depends on your needs and the overall look you are going for. But to answer our original questions – glass really isn’t just glass, any more than a latte is just a coffee. So, all you have to do now is decide if you prefer expresso to Mocha!