Often, clients will ask me about laminated glass versus tempered glass for their project. There is in fact, only one option for the work we do; laminated glass. Bending and curving glass for custom glass applications is no simple process. Luckily, Coastal Curved Glass has extensive experience and knowledge in this field, thanks to a countless volume and variety of projects that we have completed over the past 35 years.
Traditionally, tempered glass is what most contractors are aware of and request for projects. While tempered glass is reputable and has many positive aspects, in the case of curved or bent glass applications, tempered glass will absolutely not work. Here are a few facts about tempered and laminated glass, explaining why laminated glass must be used for our bent and curved glass applications:
SAFETY: Where safety is a concern - walkways, railings, and other structures were the strength of the glass is relied upon for human protection - tempered glass is almost never the right choice. Tempered glass, if compromised, will break and shatter, splintering into small pieces and posing a serious threat. Laminated glass on the other hand will simply crack, but will remain as one piece and in its place. Many applications of bent or curved glass are for walkways and stairways.
SOUND: Bent and curved glass is often used for automotive glass and marine glass installations. In both these cases, sound proofing is often a high-priority, since vehicles produce a great deal of noise. Laminated glass is a great option for any situation where sound proofing is of a concern.
SECURITY: For security concerns, laminated glass is the preferred choice, since it does not shatter. Tempered glass used for store-fronts or window displays are easily smashed into thumb-sized pieces, giving thieves a safe and easy entry-point to steal merchandise and other valuables. Since laminated glass does not shatter, an attempt to break it will just result in a very big spider-web pattern.
MALUBILITY: For our clients, who have ordered a bent glass or curved glass product for their project, there are many additional benefits as to why we choose to use laminated glass. The characteristics of laminated glass are very flexible and forgiving, which is what allows us to bend, curve and shape it in the first place. For contractors and installers, laminated glass can be cut and shaved down for a perfect fit. If you were to try to manipulate or modify a pre-cut piece of tempered glass, you would just end up with pieces.
UV PROTECTION: Thanks to its PVB interlayer (polyvinyl butyral), a type of plastic film that holds the layers of glass together, laminated glass also blocks out 99% of UV rays. This characteristic makes it excellent for window and skylight applications. Valuable art work, carpets and furniture that are exposed to significant levels of sunlight will be protected from damaging UVA and UVB ultraviolet light.