Written By: Brittney Phillips | March 23, 2023
Safety glass is any type of glass that has been toughened in order to make it less likely to break and less likely to pose the threat of glass-related injury when it does break.
There are many different types of safety and security glass out there, all of which have different compositions and perform in different ways, and it’s important to understand these key differences to help you decide what type of glazing is right for your needs.
In this article, we’ll be comparing one of the most commonly used types of safety glass, tempered glass, with our proprietary high impact safety glass and security glazing, Riot Glass.
When it comes to commercial glass, tempered glass is widely used wherever human safety is a concern, but it’s not as strong or secure as many people think it is.
Riot Glass, on the other hand, is one of the strongest types of glazing you can find, and is suitable for use in a full range of safety and security applications.
Tempered glass is a type of toughened glass that undergoes a special heating and cooling process, which toughens the glass and changes the way it breaks.
During the tempering process, the glass gets heated up in special tempering ovens to extremely high temperatures of over 1000 °F.
When the glass comes out of the ovens, it then undergoes a cooling process known as quenching, which uses blasts of cool air from high-pressure air nozzles to rapidly cool the glass.
When all is said and done, tempered glass ends up being about four or five times stronger than standard annealed glass.
But the main reason tempered glass is safer than standard glass is that it breaks apart in a completely different way.
When a panel of tempered safety glass gets broken, it crumbles into thousands of small, granular pieces, instead of shattering violently into large, sharp, and jagged shards of glass, which can very easily cause serious injury.
Because of these properties, tempered safety glass is mainly used for:
What these very different applications all have in common is that they are glass surfaces that people come into close, frequent contact with.
So, in the event of an impact that breaks the tempered glass, it’s much less likely to cause injury to anyone nearby, because it doesn’t shatter dangerously inwards like annealed glass.
However, there are some issues with using tempered safety glass for the last application on the list above — commercial storefront glass.
Even though it’s stronger and safer than annealed glass, tempered glass is still very easy to break, meaning it’s a poor solution if you want to improve a commercial property’s security in addition to its safety.
Sure, tempered glass is great for mitigating the risks of glass hazards, but it won’t do anything to protect your business from forced entry or flying storm debris, for example.
That’s where Riot Glass comes in…
Riot Glass uses 100% unique formulations of polycarbonates, acrylics, other plastics, and laminated glass to create the strongest, most durable safety and security glazing available.
These proprietary blends result in virtually unbreakable glazing infills (panels) that both mitigate safety hazards and provide protection against a full range of security threats.
Using retrofittable framing adapters, Riot Glass glazing can be placed in front of, behind, or inside almost any existing window or door framing system, protecting the existing glass or replacing it altogether.
Depending on the specific composition of the infills, Riot Glass can either be containment-grade (non-ballistic) or ballistic-grade (bullet-resistant).
Regardless of what the composition is, all Riot Glass glazing is designed to provide protection against all of the following safety and security threats:
Since Riot Glass is built to withstand forced entry attempts using hammers, sledgehammers, crow bars, bats, axes, and more, you don’t have to worry about it crumbling under one or two impacts like tempered glass often does.
This extreme durability and strength makes Riot Glass high impact safety glass the ideal solution for all types of commercial facilities where human safety and the physical security of people, property, and assets are a concern.
Whereas tempered glass is actually intended and expected to break apart at some point during its service life, Riot Glass security glazing is meant to hold up to impacts, remaining a protective barrier even after repeated blows or even penetration from bullets.
Another huge benefit of using Riot Glass over tempered glass is that it can help businesses and commercial facilities eliminate the need for board ups after vandalism, storms, natural disasters, accidents, or civil unrest.
Rather than needing to board up broken tempered glass windows after such incidents, Riot Glass is the board — an invisible one that’s there fortifying your property 24/7, without making it look fortified.
Riot Glass is the best alternative to tempered safety glass and other types of safety and security glazing for virtually all types of commercial facilities, including:
Tempered safety glass certainly still has its uses, especially indoors for things like glass stairways and other architectural glass features, but certainly all your property’s exterior windows (and glass doors) should be reinforced with Riot Glass.
Tempered safety glass is a great product for mitigating the risks of glass hazards, but that’s all it should be used for.
Since most commercial properties have a lot more to worry about than just glass-related injuries, it’s important to choose an all-in-one safety and security glazing solution like Riot Glass.
No matter where you’re located in the US, we can work with you and your local glass contractor to harden your property’s security with Riot Glass.
Contact us today for a free consultation.
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