Springfield Glass Company Explains the Physical and Chemical Properties of Tempered Glass That Make It So Strong

At Springfield Glass Company, our glass experts offer a wide selection of glass for your commercial and residential project needs, including tempered glass. Many properties of tempered glass make it an excellent choice for a variety of projects. 

Below, we’ll go into more detail so you can determine whether it’s a good fit for your project or not. Our glass experts are also available to help you choose the best type of glass for your needs. 

How Is Glass Manufactured?

To help you understand the qualities of tempered glass, let’s first discuss how glass originates. 

Primarily, glass consists of sand, soda ash, and lime. These ingredients are blended and heated at very high temperatures, poured into a shape, and allowed to cool. The cooling process is called annealing, and it will enable the glass to cool slowly to relieve internal pressure and stress while it hardens.

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Why Is Tempered Glass Stronger Than Standard Glass?

Tempered glass is more robust than standard glass because it is processed differently. But what does that mean exactly? Here’s a quick explanation from the experts at Springfield Glass Company.

The annealing process (or cooling process) of standard glass is a rapid one. However, due to the fast cooling process, ordinary glass is also much more fragile, and it breaks apart into large irregular-shaped shards, which can be very dangerous. Additionally, standard glass can only withstand temperatures up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit.

On the other hand, tempered glass originates using special heated furnaces, heating it to about 1,292 degrees Fahrenheit after it is immediately cooled. Tempered glass is cooled more slowly than standard glass to produce a more potent finished product. 

Sometimes, it’s also chemically treated with potassium nitrate to strengthen it. The glass sits in a hot bath of potassium nitrate (at over 752 degrees Fahrenheit!) for up to 30 hours. The potassium nitrate reacts with the surface of the glass to produce an ion exchange, which results in the more robust, more durable glass. 

Overall, tempered glass is four times stronger than standard glass, and it’s also impact and scratch-resistant. When it breaks, it shatters into many small pieces with fewer sharp edges. That’s why it’s often called “safety glass.” It can withstand constant temperatures of up to 470 degrees Fahrenheit (standard glass can withstand up to 158 degrees Fahrenheit), creating slices from ⅛” thick to ¾” thick.

Need Custom Tempered Glass For Your Residential or Commercial Project? 

Tempered glass is safer than standard glass if it breaks, so it’s an excellent option for shower doors, coffee tables, bookshelves, jewelry cases, and much more. If you need custom glass for your residential or commercial property, contact Springfield Glass Company online or call (417) 883-6555 to speak with a glass expert about our custom glass options.

Tempered Glass vs. Standard Glass: Which Is Better?

Glass creates some beautiful effects for residential and commercial buildings both inside and out. One of the most common questions we get at Springfield Glass Company is, “Which is better? Tempered glass or standard glass?” In today’s blog, the tempered glass experts answer that question.

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Manufacturing Process

Standard glass and tempered glass look similar at first glance. However, intrinsic qualities from each type are very different. Standard glass cools much quicker during the manufacturing process (called annealing), allowing companies to make more glass in a smaller amount of time. It’s also easier to rework, shape, and color standard glass. 

Tempered glass cools much more slowly when it’s formed. Unfortunately, it cannot be reworked once it’s made because reworking tempered glass creates breaks and cracks. However, the advantages of tempered glass over standard glass outweigh the fact that it cannot be reworked.


The main advantage of tempered glass versus standard glass is the strength. Tempered glass is four to five times stronger than standard glass. Just ¼ inch of tempered glass has the same strength as standard glass at 1 inch thick. The annealing process achieves this increase in strength. Stronger glass is why so many commercial buildings use tempered glass in various design elements.


Tempered glass is much safer than standard glass because tempered glass breaks into smaller, safer pieces. Thousands of smaller pieces don’t sound like a blessing in disguise. However, smaller pieces of glass may prevent major bleeding or the cutting of an artery.

Imagine this scenario: Your coffee table breaks when something heavy accidentally falls on it. Tempered glass shatters it into hundreds or thousands of small pieces, which create only small cuts and nicks on your hand if you touch them. If the glass breaks into larger pieces, you have a harder time handling the pieces and they could slip as you handle them. The razor-sharp edge can easily cut through your skin. Rather than smaller cuts that aren’t deep into your skin, the sharp edge of standard glass leaves a gash in your hand that requires stitches and a trip to the emergency room.

Design Versus Function

Standard glass and tempered glass are about form versus function. Tempered glass, also called safety glass, works well for architectural glass, large interior and exterior elements, shower doors, car windshields, and even cell phone screens. Standard glass is more decorative and attractive. You might find standard glass in stained glass windows, cups, drinking glasses, and decorative mirrors.

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Ask About Tempered Glass at Springfield Glass Company

Springfield Glass Company specializes in residential and commercial glass for a wide range of applications. Talk to us about tempered glass for shower doors, unique coffee tables, storefront windows, security kiosks, bay windows, or architectural elements. Contact Springfield Glass Company online or call (417) 883-6555 for more details.

Springfield Glass Company: Table Top Glass

Glass Table Top Dining Area

Springfield Glass Company sells and installs table top glass for residential and commercial use. In today’s blog, we will discuss a few things to consider that will affect your selection when picking custom glass for a tabletop.

Table Top Glass – Strength and Thickness

The most important consideration for tabletop glass is how strong the glass needs to be. If the glass will be used just to cover and protect a desk or tabletop, and it’s fully supported by the furniture itself, the strength of the glass is not as important. If the glass itself is the top, the strength of the glass is very important. Two main factors determine the strength of glass: glass thickness and glass type.
Typical thicknesses for glass tops are a one-quarter inch or one-half inch. There are numerous other thicknesses available, but these are the most common. Generally, if the glass is just covering the top, one-quarter inch is a good thickness to use. If the glass itself is the top, we will often recommend half-inch thickness for added strength.

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Table Top Glass – Safety Factors

Typical glass types for tabletops are regular plate glass or tempered safety glass. Strength requirements are one reason to pick one over the other. Safety requirements are another critical factor for this decision. Regular plate glass, also known as annealed glass, is what normal windows, mirrors, and picture frames are made of. It breaks relatively easily if subjected to a bending load. It can break into large, sharp, dangerous pieces. Tempered glass has four times the strength of plate glass relative to bending load resistance. Tempered glass is also known as safety glass and breaks into small, less dangerous pellets, as opposed to the large shards.

Table Top Glass – Choosing the Right Product

If a glass top is fully supported and does not require as much bending strength, quarter-inch plate glass is fine to use. However, if the same top might be dislodged or broken by playing children, quarter-inch safety glass would be a better choice in order to minimize the possibility of broken glass injuries. If the top is unsupported, we will typically recommend tempered glass both for strength and safety. In that case, the determination for thickness will be based on overall size.

Other things to consider when selecting glass for your tabletop are the shape, type of edge, surface treatment, and clarity of the glass. See our website for additional information on all the features available.

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Contact Springfield Glass Company Today!

At Springfield Glass Company, we have years of experience providing the best custom glass solutions for our customers, from commercial doors to residential tabletops. Contact Springfield Glass Company today to let us help you pick the best custom glass for your tabletop. Give us a call at 417.883.6555 or send us an email at info@spfdglassmo.com.