Toughened glass is a type of safety glass that has undergone special thermal treatment to make it much stronger than regular annealed glass. It is up to five times more resistant to thermal stress and impact and in the event of breakage, will shatter into small pebble-like pieces rather than jagged shards. It is a great choice for doors, windows and balcony railing, as well as many other home and commercial applications.

The toughening process involves heating up annealed glass to around 6500C and then rapidly cooling it. This creates compressive stresses, which gives it a distinct strength and makes it far more resilient to heat than regular glass. In fact, tempered glass is so strong that it can resist the effect of thermal shock, making it ideal for areas where high temperatures and extreme weather conditions are common.

It also offers excellent resistance to mechanical stress, which can happen when glass is subjected to pressure. Tempered glass is up to 400% more resistant to mechanical stress than regular float glass, which is why it’s the preferred choice for areas such as balconies and bathrooms where people may lean against it.

Another benefit of toughened glass is that it can withstand extreme weather conditions such as heavy rain and hailstorms. In fact, if the glass is properly sealed and installed in your property, you should not experience any damage to it, even when exposed to severe weather conditions for prolonged periods of time.

Although toughened glass is more resilient to damage than regular glass, it still has its limits and must be used with care. It is not recommended for children’s play, or in locations where there are high levels of traffic and vibration. When fitted correctly by a professional double-glazing company, toughened glass is incredibly safe and will be much less likely to cause injury in the unlikely event of breakage.

In addition to its incredible strength, toughened glass can be transformed post-tempering to add functionalities and enhance aesthetics. For example, it can undergo the processes of sand blazing or acid-etching to produce frosted glass. This can improve privacy and reduce sunlight glare, as well as creating a more aesthetically pleasing design. Alternatively, it can be back painted to create a feature wall or segregate rooms in an office or workspace.

The main reason to choose toughened glass is that it can be adapted to serve a range of practical purposes in your home or business. It’s also available in a wide range of finishes and colours, which means you can easily find the perfect option to suit your interior decor. To ensure you’re purchasing a toughened glass unit, check it has a British Standard Kitemark in one of the corners, which is a good indication that it has been tempered and complies with strict safety standards. If not, you should ask your glazing company to supply a safer alternative.