Toughened or Laminated Glass

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SO…should You Choose Laminated Glass Or Toughened Glass?

Both laminated glass and toughened glass are commonly used in glazing to provide protection from and in cases of glass breaking. But they do have their differences.

laminated glass and toughened glass

Laminated glass and toughened glass. They are frequently mistaken for one another and confused as being one and same product. They’re not.

What is Laminated Glass?

laminated glass on car windshield

Laminated glass is most known for being used on the windscreens of the majority of the world’s cars. This global use can be put down to what happens when laminated glass shatters.

When smashed, laminated glass holds in place and does not break up into large jagged shards or hundreds of little pieces. Instead, it keeps in place long enough for a replacement to be found.

This happens thanks to the plastic interlay that is sandwiched between two glass sheets during manufacture. This bonds the two panes together like a glue so that even when the glass breaks, its fragments keep binding on the thin film.

laminated glass smashed

This highly practical safety feature greatly reduces the chances of injury occurring from falling glass.

In addition to this, as the panes do not burst apart on impact, laminated glass leaves no hole behind for intruders and thieves to crawl through. Laminated glass also offers far superior UV resistance and sound proofing to annealed glass.

What is Toughened Glass?

toughened glass broken into tiny pieces

Toughened glass gets this strength from the tempering process which sees it subjected to intense heating followed by rapid cooling during manufacture. This toughness gives tempered glass a far higher load and breakage resistance. Toughened glass needs to be hit a lot harder than other safety glass in order to break.

Whereas laminated glass holds in place when shattered, toughened glass breaks up into hundreds of tiny pieces. You will probably have seen this on the floor where a telephone box or bus stop had been vandalised.

This method of breaking lowers the risk of injury compared to annealed glass which breaks up into larger, jagged pieces more likely to injure anybody in close proximity.

Toughened Glass vs Laminated Glass- Which is Better?

The question of whether to opt for toughened glass or laminated glass on an application does not have a definitive answer. Except for when its glaringly obvious, i.e. on a car windscreen, it’s usually down to personal preference.

If comparing the two on security, toughened glass is the stronger glass and requires far greater force to be shattered. However, when it does,  the area the glass was protecting is left exposed.

This is far less of a worry with laminated glass, as the glass stays in place when shattered. However, as laminated glass is not as resistant to breakage as tempered glass, accidental impacts, such as a stray ball or other flying object, are more likely to cause the glass to break and therefore need replacing.

On price, toughened glass is the cheaper option on a like-for-like basis and is the more likely of the two to be offered as standard.


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Additional information

Weight 100 kg