Blog 11. Part 1

Producing Architectural Glass for the Construction Industry

The development of glass manufacturing technology over the last 60 years has fed ambitious architectural glazing; in turn, the increased consumption of glass by the construction industry in the UAE has fed the development of new architectural products and glass types.

The overwhelming majority of glass produced for construction today is float glass; it is the ‘basic’ form of glass from which other options are derived. Traditional manufacturing processes are still used for conservation and heritage projects, but modern glass production has removed the distortion issues commonly associated with older glass types.

It’s not uncommon for float glass to be described as annealed glass. Annealing is a process; it produces glass free of internal stresses caused by other heat treatments. However, annealed glass breaks easily into large shards. Understandably, that is considered unsafe for certain uses
in buildings, and there are other ways in which float glass can be treated to improve its safety.Toughened glass is designed to fragment into much smaller pieces or granules if broken and is therefore suitable for safety applications.

Annealed glass is heated, then rapidly cooled to make the surface of the glass more resistant to tensile failure. Glass cracks due to failure at the surface. This tempering, balances compression at the surface with tension in the Centre of the pane, making toughened glass some four or five times stronger than annealed glass, and more resistant to blunt impact. Toughened glass cannot be cut or worked, so all processing has to be carried out prior to toughening.