Air Flow Needed For A 12 X 12 Opening Heat Treated Glass

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Heat Treated Glass

The use of glass has increased tremendously in the last few years. Modern structural design considerations, aesthetic taste, energy saving and comfortable consciousness require glasses with increased strength, safety and thermal performance. This situation calls for increased use of heat treated glass.

Heat treatment principle

The basic objective of the heat treatment process is to create an initial state of surface and edge compression. This condition is achieved by first heating the glass, then rapidly cooling the surface. This makes the center of the glass hotter than the surface. As the center cools, it forces the surface and edges to press. Hence, such glasses can be broken only after this compressive excess surface is overcome.

Heat treated glass is broken into small relatively harmless pieces by tensile forces released from the core of the glass and this phenomenon of breaking the glass into smaller particles is called dicing.

Heat treatment process

Annealed float glass is cut to the required final shape, the edges are either seamed or polished and washed. There are two principle production methods for heat treatment. One process involves heat treating in a horizontal position while the other moves the glass through the furnace in a vertical position with each light held by metal tongs. It is then heated to approximately 650°C. After the hot glass is removed from the tempering furnace, it is rapidly cooled (quenched) by blowing a carefully controlled stream of air through stationary or reciprocating or rotating blast nozzles simultaneously on both surfaces of the glass. High airflow rates produce fully tempered glass with a surface compression of 700kg/m2 or more and 680 or more and much lower airflow rates produce heat strengthened glass with a surface compression between 250 and 700kg/m2 and shrink edges. 390 to 680 kg/m2..

Response of glass properties to heat treatment

Color, solar properties, chemical composition, hardness, specific gravity, coefficient of thermal expansion, softening point, thermal conductivity and hardness remain unchanged after heat treatment. The only physical properties changed are improved flexural and tensile strength and improved resistance to thermal stress and thermal shock. Heat treatment changes the break pattern of glass. Fully tempered glass disintegrates into relatively small harmless fragments.

Type of heat treated glass

Heat treated glass is classified into two types

1. Fully tempered glass

2. Heat strengthened glass

Fully tempered glass

Fully tempered and heat strengthened glass have the same heat treatment process and the only difference is in the method of tempering. High airflow rates produce fully tempered glass.

Features of fully tempered glass

Fully tempered glass is approximately 4 times stronger than normal annealed glass and 6 times more thermally resistant than annealed glass. It can be used up to 300°C working temperature. Tempered glass is also able to withstand temperature variations of 100 to 150 degrees Celsius that can cause annealed glass to crack. Usually breaks into small particles that are generally non-offensive and can be used as safety glass. It can be laminated with suitable number of PVB interlayers. It cannot be cut or drilled after tempering. Tempering improves structural properties. Tempered glass is considered a structural element and can be used for frameless glass facades, doors and point support systems, and can also be used for any type of windows and curtain walls.

Use of tempered glass

Tempered is widely used in the construction industry for windows, curtain walls, frameless structural glazing work, sky lights etc. which require increased strength and safety.

It is also used in the automotive industry as side and rear windows in automobiles.

It is also used in refrigerators, furniture, ovens, shelving etc.

Tempered glass should not be used if the building code requires wired glass for fire resistance.

Heat strengthened glass

A lower air flow rate during quenching as described earlier produces a heat stronger glass.

Features of heat strengthened glass

Heat strength is approximately 2 times stronger than normal annealed and 2 times more thermal resistant than annealed. It can be used up to a working temperature of 150°C. It breaks into large pieces almost like annealed glasses and cannot be used as safety glazing. It can be laminated with PVB interlayer. It cannot be cut or drilled after tempering. Heat strengthened glass is not structural glass but must be glazed on all four edges in conventional or structural silicon aluminum systems. It is not suitable for frameless facades. It is ideal for use in tall buildings and towers subject to high wind loads and temperatures. Surface defects such as optical distortion and bowing etc. are less than fully tempered. Nickel sulphide inclusions are not considered a significant source of fracture due to being fully tempered.

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