Some of the most common uses for tempered glass include car windows, refrigerator shelves, and shower doors—basically, we need to remain strong. If glass windshields, for example, were not shatter-proof, driving would become far more dangerous. However, how can someone know for sure if the glass he is buying is tempered or not? We will walk you through some of the best practices to know if the glass is genuinely tempered or not, to give you that peace of mind.
Things to check if Glass is Tempered or Not
Check the Glass Edges
One way to know if the glass is genuinely tempered is by checking the edges—if, of course, you have access to them. When glass goes through the tempering process, it is treated with extreme heat. This gives tempered glass a very smooth finish. Compared to standard annealed glass, which typically has edges that are rougher to touch, tempered glass is fairly smooth, if you run your hand along the edge of a sheet. This is one of the most common distinguishing features between annealed glass and tempered glass.
Analyze the Corners for a Bug
No, to the bug doesn’t mean the creepy crawlies. When we say “bug,” we mean any etched or sandblasted marking. These are usually very small and found in one of the corners of the glass sheet. The bug is meant to serve as an identifier for tempered glass in form of stamp. This stamp shows manufacturer name and the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) standards, the stamp is a major emblem to prove whether the glass is tempered or not.
If you buy the glass directly from the manufacturer or contractor, you can see the carved sign without difficulty. If you find one on your sheet, you are likely to deal with tempered glass. If not, you can assume you got tricked and have an ordinary annealed glass instead.
Imperfections Do Not Always Mean Fake
Just because you find tiny imperfections in the glass does not mean that it is fake. On the contrary, those imperfections are likely signs that you are dealing with tempered glass instead of ordinary annealed glass.
Looking for imperfections is one of the best ways to identify the type of glass once it is installed. After all, after installation, the edges and any bugs are no longer accessible. However, during the tempering process, small particles can be melted into the glass or scratch the glass. If you identify any of these in your glass, it is very likely tempered.
View through Polarized Sunglasses against the Sun
Another clever way to discern if your glass is tempered is by putting on polarized sunglasses and viewing the sun through it. If the glass has been tempered, you will likely see some spots or lines stretching across the pane. These lines and spots are a result of the machine rollers used during the heating process. To see these, you will need to look closely—they can be very subtle at times. After all, who wants to be looking through their Custom Tempered Glass windshield on a sunny day and be distracted by lines and spots in the glass?
Score a Line
Before we get into how and why to score a line in your glass, we must first mention that this technique should only be used if you plan on cutting the glass away. Do not use this technique on new glass or glass that you do not want to disturb.
If you are planning on cutting the glass yourself, know that you should only be cutting annealed glass. If the glass is tempered, you should take it to a professional to have it cut. You can note the difference between the two types of safety glass by scoring a line using a window-cutting tool, which you can purchase at most hardware stores.
If the line turns out to be flaky and/or bumpy, you are probably dealing with tempered glass. Annealed glass, in contrast, creates a clean line when scored. Once you have scored the piece of glass, if you are still not sure what type it is, try scoring another piece of glass you have available, if you know what type that one is, and compare the two. If you do not have any other glass around to use in comparison, then it is better to play it safe and take it to a professional to cut it for you.
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