Window Glass – Types of Window Glass on the Market and Applications

Float Glass

Enhancing the appearance, energy efficiency and strength of glass can be done in multiple ways. For more details on how this can be done, we’ve taken the time to research this and came up with the guide below. All types of glass listed are part of our everyday life and we start with the most popular one – your Chicago house vinyl window glass. Why this particular city? Just as an example because of the weather patterns and winds that result in excessive air infiltration good quality windows and glass play an important role in this area of the country.


Insulated Glazing Unit

IGUs, which stands for “Insulated Glazing Unit“, are basically constructed assemblies where a space is used in order to separate 2 sections of glass. However, triple glazing has become more common these days and it incorporates the use of 2 spacers and three sections of glass. The spaces created between the glass are usually filled with Argon or simply air. While the use of Argon is quite common, Krypton and Xenon are considered more effective, but they’re a lot more expensive compared to it. For safety, the glass sheets are either laminated or tempered and are usually a quarter inch thick with a half an inch of air space between them. Lastly, the most important part of an insulated glass unit is the desiccant which prevents condensation with the IGU by eliminating moisture from the cavity.

The reality is that desiccant and seals of an insulated glass unit sometimes fail which results in fogging between the glass sheets. Although there are companies claiming to be able to perform successful repairs in such events, oftentimes an entire new window installation Chicago is the only option.

Insulated glass units made from a quarter inch thick glass and a half an inch space filled with O2 have an R value of 2. If air is replaced with Argon, they’re going to have a an R-3 value, while if the glass is changed to Low-E, that’s going to increase to R-4. However, R-5 values are also achievable, but only for triple glazed IGUs.

Have a look at this video for hands-on experience on IGU replacement

Low-E Glass

Low E House Window Glass

Low-E glass refers to glass that features a special of coating which reflects the IR parts of light, but allows for the perceptible light spectrum to go through. This means that the IR heat from the sun won’t penetrate into the building where such glass windows are used for instance, keeping it cool in the hot season and warm in the winter time.

There are 2 main kinds of such coating, including silver and tin. In order to make a very durable and hard low-e coating, tin oxide will be applied to the glass at extremely high temperatures. Silver coatings can also be applied, but they need to be enclosed in the IGU to prevent oxidation.

In most cases, low emissivity coatings have a blue green tone and a lot of architects consider this a flaw. The good news is that the newer low emissivity coatings incorporate less tint, so they make for a better choice amongst architects. Still, products samples need to be carefully reviewed in broad daylight in order to get a better understanding of how they’re going to look when installed.

Float Glass

The name of float glass is derived from the contemporary procedure considered for crating flat, thin and large panels using molten glass. The way it goes is that the liquid glass is first of all going to be poured in a pond of molten tin which creates a thick piece of glass that is also extremely smooth.

Annealed Glass

This type of glass is placed in a temperature controlled environment in order to be properly cooled down. The process minimizes the glass sheet’s inner stresses which makes it stronger. In most cases, float glass will be annealed, but before it can be used safely, it needs to go through a few other treatments.

Glass Strengthened Using Heat

Sheets of annealed glass are used in order to make heat strengthened glass. The process involves reheating the glass at more than twelve hundred degrees F and then cooling it fast, yet not as fast as toughened glass. This will result in a type of glass that is almost 2x stronger than annealed glass. The downside is that when it breaks, het strengthened glass breaks into little pieces that can cause harm.

Completely Toughed Glass

Broken Tempered Glass

Tempering refers to a process of heating up a piece of annealed glass to a certain temperature in order to improve its strength by up to four times. When it is finally finished and cut to size, it’s going to be heated beyond twelve hundred degrees Fahrenheit and cooled rapidly. This causes the internal part of the glass to maintain its fluid state for a while. This eventually causes an equal amount of compressive and tensile stresses to form across the glass which greatly improves its overall strength. Toughened glass is generally used for car windows.

Heat Soaked Toughened Glass

This is a special method used for testing toughened glass in order to find imperfections that can lead to a sudden breakage of the pane. The way the process goes is that the glass panes are heated up in a special oven to a temperature of over five hundred and fifty degrees F for up to a few hours. This makes the nickel sulfide inclusions in the glass to expand to the point they break the glass. The purpose behind this process is to cause precarious glass panes to shatter so they won’t cause any troubles in the field. While this process does increase the price of manufacturing glass panes, it definitely improves safety levels tremendously.

Laminated Glass

Laminated Car Winshield Glass

To make this type of glass, at least 2 layers of glass are going to be fused with inter layers of PVB by using pressure and heat. The result is going to be a safety glass.

Most of the times overlay glass is used as safety glass since if it’s broken, the glazing will remain intact. For example, your car’s windshield is made using laminated heat toughened glass, meaning that if something (like a hard object) were to hit it, it wouldn’t be able to pass through it and injure you or anyone else in the car. The glass is also not going to shatter into the occupants’ face.

Wire Glass

Wire Glass

Compared to annealed glass, wire glass is believed to be more rugged, but in reality, that’s because the integrated wire negatively affects the glass structure’s continuity. As a result, wire glass isn’t regarded as safe.

In most cases, wire glass will be used as a fire resistant glass since in the event the glass shatters after being exposed to great temperatures, the wire is going to hold it in place. The wire is also effective at holding it in place when sprayed with water from fire hoses.