Safety glass is a specially designed glass with added features that make it less likely to break or cause harm when broken. Unlike traditional glass, which can shatter into sharp, dangerous shards, safety glass is designed to minimize the risk of injury or property damage. Safety glass is widely used in various applications, including residential and commercial buildings in Australia, where specific requirements for its use and installation are governed by building codes and standards.
There are three main types of safety glass: toughened glass, laminated glass, and wired glass.
Toughened glass, also known as tempered glass, is made by heating regular glass to high temperatures and then cooling it rapidly. This process makes the glass up to five times stronger than regular glass, and when it breaks, it shatters into small, relatively harmless pieces. Toughened glass is commonly used in applications such as shower screens, glass doors, and table tops.
Laminated glass consists of two or more layers of glass bonded together with a plastic interlayer. This interlayer holds the glass together when it is broken, preventing it from shattering into sharp pieces. Laminated glass is used in applications where additional security or sound insulation is required, such as skylights and storefronts.
Wired glass is a type of safety glass that contains a mesh of metal wire embedded within the glass. This wire reinforcement helps hold the glass together when it’s broken, reducing the risk of injury from sharp edges. Wired glass is considered a grade B safety glass and is commonly used in applications where fire resistance is a priority, such as fire-rated windows and doors.
Safety glass is commonly used in various settings across Australia, including residential and commercial buildings. Its use is regulated by specific Australian standards to ensure the safety of people and property.
There are two main Australian standards that govern the use and installation of safety glass:
This standard covers the selection and installation of glass in residential and commercial buildings. It specifies the requirements for the use of safety glass in various applications, such as doors, windows, and balustrades. Click to read more info about AS1288.
AS 2208 deals specifically with the classification and testing of safety glazing materials, including toughened, laminated, and wired glass. It defines the performance requirements that these materials must meet to be considered safe for use in buildings.
What is the difference between toughened glass and laminated glass? Toughened glass is made by heating regular glass and cooling it rapidly, resulting in a stronger glass that shatters into small pieces when broken. Laminated glass consists of two or more layers of glass bonded together with a plastic interlayer, which holds the glass together when broken, preventing it from shattering into sharp pieces.
Why is wired glass considered a grade B safety glass? Wired glass is considered a grade B safety glass because, while it does contain a wire mesh that holds the glass together when broken, it may still pose a risk of injury from broken glass edges so is not suitable for areas with high risk of human impact.
Do I need to replace my existing windows with safety glass? If your existing windows do not meet the current Australian standards for safety glass in their specific location, you may need to replace them with safety glass to ensure compliance and improve safety in your home or building. You can consult our window glass replacement service to determine if your windows need to be replaced.
How can I identify if my existing glass is safety glass? Safety glass usually has a permanent marking or label in one corner of the glass that indicates its type (toughened, laminated, or wired) and compliance with Australian standards. If you are unsure whether your glass is safety glass, consult with a certified glazier for assistance.
Can I install safety glass myself? It is strongly recommended that you hire a certified glazier to install safety glass in your home or building. Proper installation is crucial to ensuring the effectiveness of safety glass, and certified glaziers are trained to adhere to the requirements of Australian standards and building codes.