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Glass is manufactured by melting sand, soda ash, dolomite and limestone together. The float glass process is renowned for flatness and optical clarity. It is available in clear, toned, high performance toned or ultra clear low iron glass. Float glass is not a safety glass.
Comprised of two or more layers of float glass permanently bonded together with an interlayer of resin. If broken, the interlayer is designed to hold the glass together. Virtually all glass types can be laminated. Standards call for toughened laminated glass in some applications such as overhead glazing. This type of glass offers the optimum in structural strength and safety in the event of breakage.
Float glass is placed in a roller hearth toughening furnace. It is heated then rapidly cooled, resulting in the glass retaining high compressive stresses. Fully toughened glass is 4 to 5 times stronger than ordinary glass. Toughened glass is Grade A safety glass.
This glass has a lower residual stress than toughened and is 2 times stronger than float glass. It is not a safety glass and if broken, breaks into large pieces.
To reduce the likelyhood of toughened glass failure a process of heat soaking can be carried out. This process reduces the presence of nickel sulfide, the main cause of implosions due to rapid temperature change.
The family of high performance glasses consists of permanently bonded microscopically thin layers of metallic oxides. Coated glass is made from high grade float and can be laminated or toughened. Typically these products combine Low-Emissivity and solar control, and also provide a wide range of properties from low reflection to self cleaning.