Tempered, or toughened, glass is used in many applications, including windows, windshields, display cases, and glass pool fences. It is chosen for these purposes because the way it is manufactured makes it safer than standard glass.
Glass is made from soda ash, lime, and sand. The ingredients are mixed and melted at extremely high temperatures, shaped, and cooled.
When standard glass is manufactured, an annealing process cools the glass quickly. This process is used because it allows the company to manufacture large quantities of glass in a small amount of time and also allows the standard glass to be cut, reshaped, drilled with holes, and polished. These changes can be made without breaking standard glass.
The faster cooling process has one major drawback. Standard glass is fragile and can break into large, sharp pieces that can cause injuries to people.
To make tempered glass, the glass is reheated and recooled slowly to restore its strength. This removes internal stresses and toughens the glass. The slow cooling process makes the difference between standard and tempered glass.
Tempered glass is much safer than standard glass. It breaks into small pieces that have fewer sharp edges. This is because the slow cooling process makes it stronger and more impact- and scratch-resistant than standard glass. When tempered glass is broken, it breaks evenly to prevent injury.
One drawback of tempered glass is that it cannot be reworked. Attempting to rework tempered glass will cause it to crack and break.
US Glass Fence installs pool fences made with tempered glass because it is safer than standard glass. If the fence gets hit with an object, the glass will break into small pieces that are less likely to cause injury than standard glass.