What Is Safety Glass and How Does it Work?

Safety glass is glass specially engineered to minimize the risk of injury when broken. Treatments such as lamination or tempering, which either hold the glass fragments together or cause them to crumble into small pieces, accomplish this.

The Difference Between Safety Glass and Regular Glass

Unlike traditional glass, which shatters upon impact, safety glass undergoes specific treatments to enhance its resilience. 

The primary goal is to prevent severe injuries by either holding the glass fragments together upon breakage or breaking into pieces less likely to cut than regular shards. 

Types of Safety Glass 

  1. Laminated glass: A common type of glass is laminated glass, which consists of two or more layers of glass with an interlayer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) or ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). When the glass breaks, the layers remain bonded, preventing shatter. Laminated glass is commonly used in windshields and skylights, where impact resistance is crucial.
  2. Tempered glass: Another type of glass is tempered glass, which undergoes a heat treatment to enhance its strength. 

Related Post: Why You Should Consider Tempered Glass Windows 

Tempered glass breaks into small, blunt pieces upon impact, reducing the risk of serious injury. It is often used in shower enclosures, glass doors, and side windows of vehicles.

How to Identify Safety Glass

Distinguishing safety glass from regular glass is crucial for making informed choices in various applications. Several indicators can help identify safety glass:


Safety glass typically carries markings to indicate its compliance with safety standards. These labels may include the manufacturer’s name, certification information, or specific safety codes.

Edge Appearance

Due to the layering process, the edges of laminated glass are often visible, creating a distinctive appearance. On the other hand, tempered glass edges may exhibit a slight coloration resulting from the tempering process.

UV Properties

Due to the interlayer material, some laminated glass types may have a slight tint. Tempered glass often has a specific coloration when viewed under polarized light.

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Can Safety Glass Still Cut You?

While laminated and tempered glass are designed to minimize the risk of severe injury, it is not entirely risk-free. 

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Laminated glass may still have sharp edges upon breakage, and tempered glass, while shattering into smaller pieces, can still cause minor abrasions. However, the extent of injuries is significantly reduced compared to traditional glass.

You can count on a glass installation professional to ensure safety glass is put in correctly, reducing the risk of glass breakage. 

Safety Glass in Custom Installations

There’s a growing demand for safety glass in custom installations, where functionality and aesthetics are required. Any type of glass can be customized to meet specific design requirements without compromising its protectiveness.

Related Post: 4 Reasons Your Business Needs Custom Glass Architectural Applications

Safety glass finds extensive use in architectural applications such as glass railings, partitions, and facades. Its ability to enhance safety without sacrificing design flexibility makes it a preferred choice for modern structures.

Artistic Elements

Glass can be shaped, colored, and textured to create artistic and visually stunning features. From decorative panels to unique sculptures, its versatility opens up a world of possibilities.

Custom-Sized Panels

The team at Springfield Glass Company offers safety glass in custom sizes, ensuring that each installation fits seamlessly into the space.

Call Springfield Glass For Installing Your Safety Glass 

Safety glass offers a balance between functionality and protection. The experts at Springfield Glass Company can provide custom, well-fitting glass. Call 417-883-6555 or contact us online for a free quote. 

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