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esg toughened glass
the ultimate safety glass
Toughened glass is recognised as a Class A safety glass. If it is damaged or shattered, it breaks safely into small glass fragments. Although these fragments, which resemble small pebbles, may cause small cuts or bruises, they do not inflict the kind of serious injury which can occur from the sharp shards that are formed when ordinary annealed glass is broken.
To create toughened glass, the raw material – a float glass sheet – is cut and processed to the customer’s requirement. This includes creating any shape required, polishing, drilling holes, or routing out notches and cut outs.
The glass is then washed and dried and placed on a bed of rollers, which carry it into a furnace, or oven. The float glass is heated up, all the while being kept moving continuously by rollers, which rock it backwards and forwards. This is known as a roller-wave. Eventually, the glass heats sufficiently to become malleable.
Once the glass has reached this stage, it is then carried by rollers to the second phase of the toughening process. This takes the glass into a quench, which blows cool air on the glass surface. As the surface area of the panel cools quicker than its centre, it creates a sealed tension within the panel which changes the integrity of the glass. This is now toughened glass.
After toughening, the glass is 4 to 5 times stronger than it was in its original annealed state, making it an excellent product to use in a variety of applications. These include low-level balustrades, partitioning glass, shower enclosures, splashbacks and wall cladding.
Toughened glass is ideal for these and many other installations; firstly, because of its added strength; and secondly, for the way that it breaks safely, by shattering into small glass pebbles, rather than sharp shards. We recommend that any glass to be used in a guarding application should be heat-soaked.
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It is essential that toughened glass is manufactured in accordance with strict standards. At ESG we manufacture toughened glass in accordance with BS EN 12150. All of our products are manufactured in accordance with relevant British Standards, and are produced in a clean environment, to a quality management system approved to BS EN ISO 9001:2000.
When toughened glass is created, the tension in the outer skin may encapsulates an inclusion known as nickel sulphide within the panel. Although in annealed glass, this inclusion poses no threat, once the glass has been heat treated by toughening or heat strengthing it, this inclusion may expand over time to cause a combustion within the panel.
Because it is an inherent property within glass, as a result of the float glass manufacturing process, should a glass panel break due to this inclusion we cannot be held responsible for a free of charge replacement of the panel.
This is a rare occurrence. The risk of spontaneous breakage can be greatly reduced – although is not a 100% guarantee – by subjecting the glass to a further process known as heat soaking.
Once float glass has been toughened, it should not be re-worked, as this will compromise the strength of the product.