Tempered Safety Glass
Fully tempered glass is used in many applications because of its safety characteristics. Safety comes from strength and from a unique fracture pattern. Strength, which effectively resists wind pressure and impact, provides safety in many applications. When fully tempered glass breaks the glass fractures into small, relatively harmless fragments. This phenomenon called "dicing," markedly reduces the likelihood of injury to people as there are no jagged edges or sharp shards.
Fully tempered glass is a safety glazing material when manufactured to meet the requirements of the ANSI Z97.1 Standard and Federal Standard CPSC 16 CFR 1201. Federal Standard CPSC 16 CFR 1201, as well as state and local codes, require safety glazing material where the glazing might reasonably be exposed to human impact. This includes doors, tub and shower enclosures, side lights, and certain windows. Applicable building codes should be checked for specific information and requirements.
USES FOR TEMPERED GLASS
Fully tempered glass is used traditionally in place of other glass products in applications requiring increased strength and reduced likelihood of injury in the event of breakage. The building industry, motor vehicle industry and certain manufacturing industries find tempered glass is effective and economical in a wide range of applications.
Fully tempered glass can satisfy federal, state and local building code requirements for safety glazing in such applications as doors, side lights, shower and tub enclosure, and interior partitions. It is also used in storm doors, patio-door assemblies, and escalator and stairway balustrades. As a glazing product it is used in windows and in spandrel areas (for wind pressure, small missile impact and thermal stress resistance). Special building applications include sloped glazing, racquetball courts, skylights (see below), and solar panels. Any conditions or requirements imposed in the applicable safety glazing laws and building codes limiting such special uses should be determined prior to glazing.
Tempered glass should not be used where building codes require wired glass for fire-spread resistance. Tempered glass should not be used, alone, where the objective is to provide security against forced entry or bullet passage. Combinations of annealed and tempered glass can be effective barriers against forced entry and bullet impact, if properly designed and constructed. When using tempered glass in fireplace screens, provisions must be made for expansion and edge insulation.