Types of Glass

Clear Glass: This is the most common type of glass used in residential and commercial applications. It is nearly clear with a slight green or blue/green color. Float glass is available in thicknesses ranging from 3/32″ to 3/4″.

Insulated Glass, also known as an IGU or thermopane, is made of two or more panes separated by a perimeter spacer and sealant. Since air is a fairly poor conductor of heat, by providing an “air gap” between two panes an IGU increases the insulative properties of the the window. Contrary to popular belief most thermopanes in our region simply contain air, very few are filled with argon or other exotic gasses.

Tempered Glass: The tempering process heat strengthens annealed (soft) glass by nearly melting it then rapidly air cooling the two surfaces. This locks internal stress into the glass that makes it about 4 times stronger then annealed glass. Another advantage is that if it does break, it shatters in to small pieces that are much safer to bystanders than large shards. The drawback with tempered glass is that it cannot be cut or drilled once the tempering process is complete.

Low-e Glass: In simple terms, Low-e glass is reflective glass that doesn’t look reflective. The reason it doesn’t appear reflective is because it selectively reflects electromagnetic radiation that falls outside the of the visible light spectrum. You may remember from elementary school that you learned the colors of the rainbow Red – Orange – Yellow – Green – Blue – Indigo – Violet (ROY-G-BIV), these frequencies (we call colors) are known as “the visible light spectrum”. Just outside of what the human eye can see are two other types of light: On the low-end of the frequency range we find Infrared, which is mostly responsible for thermal energy transfer (heat). On the high-end of the frequency range we find ultrafiolet, which is responsible for fading thing in your home as well as thermal energy transfer (heat). Low-e glass reflects these two forms of light, keeping heat and damaging rays out in the summertime and in the winter time retaining heat inside your home.

Tinted Glass: Through the addition of pigments to molten clear glass the manufacturer can modify the color of the final product and create different tints. These pigments absorb light-energy, keeping it from passing through the window. Tinted glass is available in Bronze (brown), Dark Bronze (dark brown), Grey, and Blue/Green. The darkness of the tint increases as the thickness increases.

Reflective Glass: This type of glass is generally used in commercial applications and is comprised of either tinted or clear glass coated with a very thin metal layer. Reflective glass provide a certain appearance that is desired in many applications and also reduces the solar energy transfer.

Obscure Glass is textured glass commonly used to provide privacy or add ascetic appeal. Obscure glass is available in many patterns that provide different levels of diffusion for whatever the application may be.