Float glass is a term that refers to a process of making glass that was perfected in 1959 by Pilkington Brothers, Ltd. of England.
There are two types of glass made by the float process, clear glass and tinted glass. Most of the flat glass made by the float process is clear glass. As its name implies, clear glass is transparent and colorless. Depending upon its thickness, clear glass allows about 75 to 92 percent of the visible light to pass through.
This is standard clear glass. Most glass types begin as clear float. Most units will have a pane of clear float that has no additional coatings or properties. Usual thickness for glazing are 4mm and 6mm. For large sizes 8mm and 10mm are used.
float glass provides users with a crystal-clear view
Low-e (low emmisivity) glass
Low-e is a coating type applied to one side of glass to minimize the amount of infrared and ultraviolet light that comes through your glass, without minimizing the amount of light that enters your home. Low-e coating prevents the heat transmission through glass panes by reflecting it back into the room. This coating on the glass prevents the heat transfer through the glass to the inside in the summer and to the outside in the winter so that makes the room more comfortable.
Low-e glass can be classified in two ways: soft-coated and hard-coated.
Solar control glass
This is standard float glass with a special solar control coating applied to it in a similar way to low e products. The coating in effect reflects the heat back, preventing it from entering the room. There are solar control coatings that are combined with low e coatings and offer the dual function of solar control and low e on one piece of glass.
Self cleaning glass
Self cleaning glass has ultra thin coating of titanium dioxide which is applied to the external part of the glass. The self cleaning coating reacts with ultra-violet (UV) rays from natural daylight to break down and disintegrate organic dirt.
Toughened glass, also known as tempered glass, is four to five times stronger than annealed glass of the same thickness and is ideally suited to most safety critical applications. It is manufactured using a controlled thermal process. Essentially, this involves heating the glass in a tempering furnace – until it reaches approximately 650°C – and subsequently removing the glass and allowing it to quickly cool.
If toughened glass is subjected to high-pressure impact, it will break into small blunt pieces rather than dangerous pointed shards.
Laminated glass is a safety and security glass that is made by sandwiching a plastic interlayer between two pieces of glass. The interlayer works to support and hold the glass to create a strong, uniformed layer even when broken.
The laminate layers that keep safety glass from shattering also gives it an added element of security.
There are two types of laminated glass:
Laminated safety glazing with a PVB (polyvinyl butyral) interlayer: the main function of this type of glazing is to provide
protection from burglary and to ensure safety. However, such glazing also offers enhanced sound insulation.
Toughened or laminated glass can be called also safety glass.