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Can you explain some of the differences in the types of glass that are available for windows and doors?

There are many different types of glass available for windows and doors from standard float glass to double glazed units. Some typesof glass are used for different requirements, that is safety, energy efficiency, acoustics etc and what is used must comply with Australian Standard AS1288 Human Impact Safety.

Below is some of the different types are glass and what they are used for.

Float Glass: Clear glass used in windows to seal out the weather, and meet standard glazing requirements.

Obscure Glass: Used generally in bathrooms, toilets etc. to provide privacy, eg Spotswood, Satinlite.

Patterned Glass: Provides fashionable and functional alternatives for room dividers, door, side lites and feature areas.

Toughened Glass: Used in doors, or where safety is important, it is approximately 4 to 5 times stronger than float glass of equal thickness, making it far more resistant to impact. If broken, the toughened glass disintegrates into tiny, relatively harmless fragments, and as such is considered a safety glass for hazardous glazing locations.

Laminated Glass: Used in doors, or where safety is important, it consists of two or more sheets of glass with a plasticised polyvinyl butyl interlayer between to produce a permanent sandwich. Glass will crack but not break, and is approximately 2 – 2½ times stronger than float glass. Laminated glass is also used for its acoustic properties.

Tinted glass: Usually in Grey, Bronze or Green float, used to reduce summer heat coming into a room through the window.

Low E Glass: Used to reduce energy bills year round. It greatly reduces heat intrusion in summer and assists in keeping in the generated heat during winter. Special Low E coating on the glass means insulation from both heat and cold. In winter it keeps over a third more heat in a room. In summer it works the other way, to halve the sun‘s direct heat entering through the window, eg Comfortplus, Trend Low E.

Double glazed (insulated) glass units: Used to reduce energy bills year round, particularly in colder climates. Consists of two panes of glass separated by an aluminium spacer – profile and hermetically sealed around the periphery. Insulated glass units have a dual seal between the panes of glass and the spacer. The air space between the panes of glass provides the required thermal and sound insulation. For even better insulation they can be supplied as argon gas filled.

General terms used in regards to types of glass are:

• Transparent – Transmitting light, easily seen through.
• Obscure – Indistinct viewing not readily seen through.
• Opaque – Impenetrable to light, not transmitting light through.
• Translucent – Diffused light transmittance, not see through.

Posted in: General FAQs

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