What is Grade A Safety Glass?

According to the Australian / New Zealand Standards AS/NZS 1288:2006 (Glass in buildings – Selection & Installation), Grade A Safety Glass is manufactured to requirements set out in the Australian / New Zealand Standards AS/NZS 2208:1996 (Safety glazing materials in buildings). The Grade A Safety Glass category includes toughened, laminated and vinyl backed glass products.

Toughened Glass

Toughened, or tempered glass is a type of high strengthened glass, formed by heating glass to the softening point (approx. 600° – 700° C) in a horizontal tempering furnace, then quickly cooling it by blasting the glass with cold air. This alters the surface tension of the glass, effectively ‘hardening’ the glass. Toughened glass is 4-5 times stronger than annealed glass of the same thickness. Due to the tension in the glass, toughened glass shatters into tiny cuboid fragments when broken, reducing the risk of injury. This quality determines toughened glass as a Grade A Safety Glass.

Laminated Glass

By using the combination of heat and extreme air pressure, laminated glass is produced by bonding two sheets of glass together with an interlayer. PVB (polyvinyl butyral) is the most commonly used interlayer for the manufacture of laminated glass.   Due to the interlayer, laminated glass remains in one piece when broken.
This important quality determines laminated glass as a Grade A Safety Glass. Upon impact, the glass may break, however, will remain as one piece inside the frame. Laminated glass significantly reduces the risk of injury, as well as continuing to act as a barrier to the elements and provide security to your home or office.