Types of Glass

There are two types of A-Grade safety glass: Toughened Glass and Laminated Glass.glassinfo-toughenedglasscon

Thermal Toughened Glass
‘Tempered’ or ‘Toughened Glass’ is a normal glass that has been thermally treated to increase its ‘toughness’ and resistance to impact or thermal damage. Generally speaking, “Toughened glass’ is about 4 – 5 times stronger than its non-toughened equivalent. It is widely produced in Australia and time to delivery is typically 14 working days.

Chemically Toughened Glass
According to Australian standards, chemically toughened glass in not yet considered an A-Grade safety glass. ‘Chemically Toughened Glass’ is bathed in a chemical cocktail that acts upon the molecular structure of the glass to achieve it’s toughened qualities. It is generally cheaper to produce, less reliable and less predictable than Thermally Toughened glass. Mostly Chemically Toughened glass is imported from Asian manufacturers.

All Toughened Glass should meet the Australian Standard AS1288 & AS2208.

Toughened Glass is highly tensioned internally providing the enhanced strength. This inner glass area extends to just below the outer layers leaving an area of weakness of about 2-3mm from the edges. This inner layer can be viewed using a special UV light.

Although there is a ‘weakness point’, it is still extremely resistant to breakage from a surface impact. Most breakages are a result of edge impacts. Note: Re-cutting and drilling of holes are not possible and machining is limited once glass has been ‘Toughened’. Glass is ordered as a finished product.


Laminated Glass

Consisting of a Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) interlayer bonded between panes of glass under heat and pressure, Laminated glass behaves as a single unit and looks like normal glass.

Laminated glass is much tougher and resilient to penetration from impact. If broken, the fragments adhere to the PVB interlayer rather than falling apart. This reduces the risk of personal and public injury.

Many architectural designs incorporate Laminated glass into their designs as it has multifunctional benefits and offers increased protection from the effects of disasters such as hurricane, earthquakes and even bomb blasts. Some of the benefits of Laminates are:

• Safety – Higher resistance to impact, will hold together if broken.
• Security – Extremely high resistance to penetration.
• Sound Control – The PVB interlayer has a dampening effect on sound.
• Solar Energy Performance – Can reduce solar energy transmittance and also has a higher level of ultraviolet (UV) filtering performance than normal glass.

Laminated Glass Make-Up

Laminated Glasses are available in a range of glass thicknesses, interlayer options, colour finishes and strengths of resistance including Bullet proof. The weakness of Laminated glass comes from the PVB layer being exposed to weather and the elements and breaking down. This causes edge creep and is quite visible. Laminated glass is therefore better suited to fully encased glazing or internally glazed units. We do not recommend it for balustrading or fencing.


Glass Edge Finishes

The most common Edge Finishes are Bevelled Edges and Flat Polished Edges.

On most finished panels of glass, a Flat Polished edge is common.
Bevelled edges are found mainly on mirrors and tabletops.




The information provided in this website is a general information guide only and should not be treated as technical advice. AFGI recommends speaking with a licensed builder or architect in relation to individual circumstances and applications.