There is actually an incredible amount of glass types available for use, from panels that can be walked on to glass for windows to panels that have metal wire woven right into it.

It all depends what you need.

Here are the most common types of glass:

Annealed: Ever wonder how a sheet of glass is perfectly flat? Its easy once you have a molten vat full of tin or mercury (mercury is not used very much anymore). The molten glass is floated across and from there allowed to cool into a flat sheet. The thickness depends on simply the amount of molten glass being poured in and the time it is allowed to congeal. A lot of time and a lot of product makes for a lot of thick glass…

A paneled thickness runs from around 3mm and up. In between that are a lot of specialized types that are used in different applications:

laminatedLaminated: Laminated panels is used generally in high security applications. A thin layer of plastic is sandwiched and glued between two sheets of glass. This allows the laminated panels to not break very quickly and if it does the plastic sticks between the layers and does not allow the glass to be easily penetrated.

Laminated glass can also have several different types of plastic inside due several different applications such as stopping UV rays, sound proofing, colour and such.

coatedCoated: Usually a thin layer of metal or other gases are applied in a vacuum which allows for special transmission properties such as scratch resistance, corrosion resistance or other uses. You won’t see a lot of this at a local glass shop, as its mainly contained to high end industrial applications.


mirroredMirrored: Mirrored panels is made with one side of flat glass being coated with silver, gold or chrome, then goes on a couple of layers of protective paint and a new mirror is born.

One way glass just has no protective paint and a thinner layer of metal.


patterned glassPatterned: Patterned glass is simply a flat glass that is passed through a negative mold of the desired effect. Most of the times the glass is thicker than average so that the pattern will have some strength. There are numerous styles to choose from.


tempered glassTempered: A lot of people wonder why tempered units take longer to get and why it is so much more expensive, and there is a good reason for that!

Tempered units have to break into very small shards so that if it does break there are no huge daggers of glass that could lead to loss of life and serious damage. Think of what a car window looks like after an accident… small pieces of glass everywhere but no huge shards. That can reduce injuries very quickly.

The way they make it is that the tempered panel is heated at around 600 then rapidly cooled on the exterior while the inside remains molten. The different cooling areas produce more strength and the characteristic pattern of small pieces if broken.

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