Are you in need of glass that is dramatically stronger than regular annealed glass? If so, you should consider using chemically strengthened glass, which is glass that has been treated to make it stronger than annealed glass and many other types of glass.
There are many advantages to using chemically strengthened glass, since it can provide you with increased resistance to both mechanical and thermal stresses.
The main advantage of chemically strengthened glass over annealed is that it’s stronger than annealed glass but of equal optical characteristics and it has better optical characteristics than thermally tempered glass. The downtime is that in order to make it as a safety product, it must be laminated.
Chemically strengthened glass isn’t as difficult to create as you might think. In order to do it, a professional glass design company will take glass and place it into a molten salt bath that has potassium nitrate that’s set at a temperature below the annealing range of the glass.
When glass is placed into this environment, an ion exchange will occur during which smaller alkali sodium ions in the existing glass will trade places with larger alkali potassium ions on the surface of the glass. The larger ions will wedge their way into the spaces previously occupied by the smaller ions, thus making the glass stronger than before.
When glass is chemically strengthened through this process, you won’t notice a difference in the way it looks. It will have the same color and clarity, and it will also allow for the same light transmission as before. The hardness, softening point, and stiffness of the glass will also remain the same as will other aspects like the specific gravity and expansion coefficient.
However, the flexural and tensile strength of the glass will be greatly improved by the chemical strengthening process, and the glass will also become more resistant to thermal stress and shock. The glass will be less likely to break under pressure, and if it does break, it will break into larger shards as opposed to smaller pieces (tempered glass).