» Posted by on Nov 15, 2011 in products


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  • Thermal Pane replacement

    Thermal Pane replacement

  • Thermal Pane replacement

    Thermal Pane replacement

Listed below are some of the more common types of architectural glass used in residential and commercial applications. Glass Canada can advise you on the glass-related product best suited for your particular need, so give us a call at 519.642.0420 for a complimentary consultation.

For answers to frequently asked questions about Glass, please read our FAQ.

Types of Glass

Safety Glass

Glass is a breakable material, which when broken into smaller pieces (chards), may cause serious injury. Safety glass, usually tempered or laminated, when broken breaks into very small pieces reducing the risk of injury or will adhere to the vinyl layer of laminated glass.


Heat-treated glass has been processed through a tempering oven to increase its strength to resist impact and thermal stress breakage. There are two distinct heat-treated glass products: fully tempered and heat-strengthened.

  • Fully tempered glass or “toughened” glass can be up to four times harder to break than normal annealed glass. If broken, tempered safety disintegrates into thousands of very small pieces with dulled edges. This type of clear or coloured glass is ideal for glass facades, sliding doors, building entrances, bath and shower enclosures and other uses requiring superior strength and safety properties.
    Sandblasting, engraving, painting, special lettering, logos, crests or designs can be incorporated into tempered glass to enhance the personal touch of doors, glass, push and pull hardware and sidelites.
  • Heat-strengthened glass is approximately twice as strong as annealed glass of similar thickness. Heat-strengthened glass generally fractures in a manner similar to annealed glass and tends to remain in the opening when broken. It is often used for general glazing where additional strength is desired. Heat-strengthened glass is NOT a safety glazing product and should not be used where safety is a priority.



Laminated glass is another type of safety glass made with a multifunctional glazing material that can be used in a variety of applications. It is manufactured by permanently bonding two or more lites (panes) of glass with layers of polyvinyl butyral (PVB), which give the glass a slight tint. Although laminated glass uses ordinary non-toughened annealed glass, when hit hard enough the outer layer may crack, but the broken pieces will adhere to an interlayer, stopping the splinters of glass from flying off. It’s a good choice for safety applications.


Insulating glass (IG) units are sealed combinations of two or more lites (panes) of glass separated by a dry airspace. IG units improve thermal performance, and can significantly reduce heating and air conditioning costs. Insulating glass also reduces interior condensation in cold climates.


Wired glass is a safety product that has a wire mesh embedded during the production process. It has impact resistance similar to normal glass, but in case of breakage, the mesh retains the pieces of glass. In many areas, wire mesh is accepted as low-cost fire glass.


Fire-resistant glass can be classified in two categories: 1) fire-resistant glass and 2) heat transmitting glass.

  • Fire-resistant glass contains flames and inflammable gas for a short period of time, but doesn’t prevent the transmission of heat to the other side of the glazing (e.g Wire glass & reinforced laminated glass.)
  • Fire insulating glass contains flames and inflammable gas for a longer period of time and prevents the transmission of flames and smoke, but also heat to the other side of the glazing.


Low-emission glass (Low-E) is a clear glass manufactured with a thin coating of metal oxide. This allows the sun’s heat and light to pass through the glass into the building. At the same time, the metal oxide blocks heat from leaving the room, reducing heat loss. Low-E glass can be cut, tempered or laminated just as normal uncoated glass.

Tempered Glass

Clear or coloured tempered and heat strengthened glass, custom fabricated if required, in thicknesses from 3mm (1/8″) to 19mm (3/4″).

Ultralite Tempered Glass is manufactured using the most technologically advanced processing and handling equipment in the glass industry and is tempered in a computerized, tong-free furnace. The result is the highest available quality of finish.

Sandblasting, Engraving and Painting. Special lettering, logos, crests or designs can be incorporated into tempered glass to enhance the personal touch of doors, glass, push and pull hardware and sidelites.

Thermal Pane

Thermal Pane replacement

Two lites of glass that are hermetically sealed and generally installed in many window products, these can be changed without replacing the windows. Reflective and Low-E products can be used in these applications.

History of Glass

Glass has been around in various forms for thousands of years, and evidence of glass beads, jars and eating materials shows that humans have used the material since 12,000 BC.

While most glass is made of chiefly of silica, soda, and lime heated to 1800 °Fahrenheit (982 °Celsius), other materials are sometimes added to the mixture to “frost” or cloud the glass or to add colour. The resulting fused liquid can be poured into moulds, blown into various shapes or extruded into the clear glass sheets we commonly associate with windows.

Clear flat glass for windows is formed by a “float” glass process developed in the 1950s by the Pilkington Brothers of the UK, who created a continuous ribbon of glass using a molten tin bath on which the molten glass flows out on the tin, and levels out as it spreads along the bath. The result is a smooth face on both sides.