What kind of glass is best?
What kind of glass is best for my project? This is a question we get asked a lot, as there is often a lot of confusion and misconception around the different types of glass. As always, it really is defined on a project by project basis, but there are a few basics that we would always follow when recommending glass.
All the glass that we supply is toughened safety glass. This means that if a panel breaks, it shatters into hundreds of tiny pieces. This contrasts the large shards standard annealed glass breaks into upon impact. If a balustrade is at height, using toughened glass especially important, as it is important that any breaking panels will not injure someone walking below it.
Toughened & Laminated Glass
The other type of glass we supply is toughened and laminated glass. This is 2 panels of toughened safety glass, laminated together with an interlayer. We would usually supply laminated glass with a 1.5mm PVB interlayer, but we can also supply laminated glass with a SentryGlas interlayer, which is significantly stronger. Although toughened and laminated glass with a PVB interlayer is sufficient for most situations, sometimes SentryGlas is needed, or is specified by a structural engineer.
We would always recommend using toughened and laminated glass in a frameless system, such as our Easy Adjust Channel, Stand-off Fittings, or Easy Fit Juliets. This is because the glass forms the structural element of the balustrade. Another important reason for using laminated toughened glass, is that if a panel does break, the interlayer will hold the pieces together until a replacement panel can be installed. As the glass is the structural element of a frameless system, it is important that even if a panel breaks, there is still a barrier protecting edge.
In a post and glass system, there is a lot more metalwork to glass, and the metalwork is the structural element of the balustrade. Toughened glass can be used here, because even if a panel breaks, there is still a barrier protecting the drop – especially if a handrail is used.